Tariq Lamptey will be one to watch at the FIFA World Cup, as he makes his competitive introduction to the international stage with Ghana, having changed allegiance since representing England at different youth levels.
The 22-year-old was born and bred in London, and came through the Chelsea academy, where he captured the attention of the England Football Association.
The Brighton and Hove Albion dynamic wing back made 20 appearances for England’s youth sides, and after his move to Brighton, he gained more first team football under former manager Graham Potter. His game has elevated greatly since then, but injuries have slowed down his progress, pushing him down in the pecking order for the club, and at the time a possible place in the English first team setup. In addition, England have a lot of cover and quality in that same position in Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walkers to name a few.
Lamptey burst onto the scene with his explosive pace and trickery, and his ability to find the perfect pass or cross. Man of the match displays against the “Big Six” teams added more speculation around his club future, but a hamstring injury has limited the defender to just 11 Premier League appearances this season. Lamptey is still one of the best attacking wingbacks in the Premier League, making him one of the players to watch as a possible breakout star.
The player qualifies to play for Ghana through his father, and the Ghanaian Football Association also brought in former Brighton boss Chris Hughton to make the transition easier. In September, he was called up for the first time, and made his debut against Brazil in a 3-0 defeat. But on Thursday, he played in a 2-0 win over Switzerland, and is set for a crucial role with the Black Stars at the Qatar showdown.