Hop to it: Ex-Chelsea star Tariq Lamptey reveals bizarre superstition ahead of Brighton's clash at Sheffield United

If you see Tariq Lamptey hop on his left foot and then his right by the touchline at Bramall Lane, the chances are he's about to make his Brighton and Hove Albion debut.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 10:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 1:54 pm
Tariq Lamptey is settling into life at Brighton following his transfer deadline day switch from Chelsea (By Paul Hazlewood)

Many footballers and elite athletes have various superstitions or routines which they perform to help tune their mind to job in hand.

Lamptey's, for reasons unknown even to him, is to hop just once on each foot. He's then fully focused and ready for action.

"I don't know how it started," explained Lamptey who joined Brighton from Chelsea on transfer deadline day. "I do it every time before I get on the pitch. It is a bit of a weird one."

Tariq Lamptey made his Premier League debut for Chelsea at Arsenal last December

Lamptey, 19 is still in the process of settling into life at Brighton, having spent his entire youth career at Chelsea.

The England youth international, who was a Manchester United supporter growing up, joined Chelsea at the age of seven and progressed rapidly through the youth sections.

He made his Premier League debut for Frank Lampard's team last December in the 2-1 comeback victory at Arsenal before completing a £4m move to Brighton.

Lamptey is a quick and powerful defender despite measuring just a shade over 5ft 5in. He has been impressed with the intensity of training since arriving at Albion and will be pushing established right backs Martin Montoya and Ezequiel Schelotto for a role at Sheffield United this Saturday.

Steven Alzate (left) has helped Tariq Lamptey adjust to liefe at Brighton. (By Paul Hazlewood)

“The level has been really high," said Lamptey. "When I came here, I was prepared to work hard, and the boys have been excellent out on the training field.

“They’ve taken every word that the coaching staff have given to them and acted on it, and that’s good for me because I have to be at my best every day to fit into that and make a positive impression.

“I think we can count ourselves a little bit unlucky in both matches I’ve seen (West Ham and Watford) – we could have gone on and won both, but we’re going in the right direction for sure.”

Having been at Stamford Bridge since the age seven, it has been quite a transition for the young right back who has represented England at under-18, under-19 and under-20 level.

Albion and Colombia midfielder Steven Alzate, 21, has been a positive influence in helping Lamptey feel at home in his new surroundings. Both grew up around north London in Hillingdon and Camden.

“Steven and myself are a similar sort of age and both come from the same area of London too, so I’ve struck up a good friendship with him," added Lamptey.

“I didn’t know that before I joined the club but obviously it’s been nice for me, as I’ve got to know him. He’s a great guy and has sort of been my tour guide around the city.

“He’s taken me around the training ground and become a really good friend. The boys have been telling me that Hove is a great area and I’ve found somewhere there to live now too which will help me off the field.

“Overall, it’s been really good, and I feel very settled. The lads have been great and the coaching staff have been amazing too – everyone has made me feel welcome - I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”