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According to reports from Sky Sports, Premier League new boys Brighton & Hove Albion are set to break their transfer record by signing winger Jose Izquierdo from Belgian outfit Club Brugge.
The report claims that the two clubs have reached an agreement over a £13.5million initial fee, which could rise up to £16million. The player is due to complete his medical and once that is out of the way and a work permit is obtained, the deal will be completed.
With Izquierdo all set to become Brighton’s 10th summer arrival, here we bring you the lowdown on the 25-year old attacker.
Born in Pereira, Colombia, on 7 July 1992, Izquierdo came into news during his stint with Colombian club Deportivo Pereira, who he joined in 2010. The winger spent over three years with the club, in which he made 83 appearances, scoring 15 goals. In July 2013, he moved to fellow Colombian outfit Once Caldas, where he spent a year, in which he played on 45 occasions for the club, scoring 13 times.
Impressed by his potential, Brugge decided to swoop for him in the summer of 2014. In his very first season in Belgium, Izquierdo produced excellent returns of 15 goals and 7 assists in 44 games in all competitions. He did not have the same results the coming season, but still managed 7 goals and 9 assists in 37 games.
Last season was the Colombian’s best in terms of goals, as he found the back of the net on 16 occasions, and registered 3 assists as well in just 34 games. He has played twice already this season in the UEFA Champions League qualifying stages.
Izquierdo made his debut for the Colombian national team in June this year and has played twice for the South American nation so far, scoring twice.
A left-winger primarily, Izquiero has been used in various roles throughout his career – on the opposite flank, as a No.10, a centre-forward and as an auxiliary striker as well.
Fast and powerful, the 25-year old has made his name by the sheer explosive moments he can produce on the field. Slotting in on the left-side, he loves to cut inside and have a go at the goal with his stronger right-foot and as seen by his goal tally in the past three years, he finds the net more often than not, from distance.
He has also demonstrated great intelligence in making runs in behind the defence from the inside left-channels as well. Not the tallest of the players, he puts his low centre of gravity to good use to get out of tight spaces.
One aspect of his game that he improves pertinently is the fact that he does not tend to hug the touchline as often. On receiving the ball, his first thought is to cut inside on his right foot and go at goal. He will be caught out in the Premier League if he doesn’t add another dimension to his gameplay.
Brighton have a number of players who can play in Izquierdo’s position, but the amount of goals he can score, combined with his experience in the European competitions will hold him in good stead in terms of competition for a place in Chris Hughton’s starting XI. Him on one side and Anthony Knockaert on the other flank will be an enticing prospect to watch for the club faithful.