Jurgen Locadia made his Brighton debut last Saturday after being sidelined for three weeks after signing with a hamstring injury which he picked up before he joined for £14 million from PSV Eindhoven in January.
He certainly made quite the impact on his debut. After being picked to start up front alongside fellow signing Leonardo Ulloa against Coventry City in the FA Cup fifth round and he helped guide Brighton to a comfortable 3-1 victory.
Locadia opened his account for The Seagulls after just 14 minutes when he got onto the end of Anthony Knockaert’s low cross and put the ball into the bottom left corner with pinpoint accuracy. The Dutch striker had hit the post ten minutes early after he got onto the end of Markus Suttner’s cross, but his right-footed effort came back off the crossbar.
Although the game was against an inferior side in Coventry, the League Two defence could not deal with Albion’s record signing. He has already got Brighton fans on his side after his first appearances for a few reasons.
The first his is movement and willingness never to give up on the ball. He created a couple of chances through running in behind the Coventry defence and stretching them. Add to this his willingness to keep harrying the opposition and forcing them to make mistakes, will certainly have many Premier League defenders worrying as Locadia is the type of striker they hate facing.
The second is his awareness and vision. This was highlighted twice the first was in the first half when he picked up the ball on the left wing drifted inside and switched an inch-perfect ball on Knockaert’s chest in order to create the chance for him to run at the defender. The other time this was highlighted was in the second half in the build-up to the third goal the ball was played into the Dutch striker and he held the ball and then cleverly flicked it to Bruno on the right wing, who then set up Ulloa for his first goal in his second stint at Albion.
The last aspect which really stood out was his finishing. The striker was a matter of inches away from scoring in the fourth minute with the post the only thing denying him. He then scored in the 14th minute with a first-time finish which nestled perfectly into the bottom left corner of the goal. He also had another chance when he showed his willingness into the box and get on the end of Solly March’s cross, but unfortunately with him not being match fit he ended up poking his effort past the post while sliding in and maybe had he been slightly more match fit he may have done better with it. The last of his chances came when he picked up the ball 25 yards out and drove at the defender and then let go of a left-footed effort just inside the box which was straight at the keeper.
Locadia has certainly made quite the impression on his debut and will be hoping to make a similar one on Saturday where he is in line to make his Premier League debut against Swansea at The Amex.
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