Ex-Hatter Connolly makes his Premier League debut for the Seagulls

Aaron Connolly in action for the Hatters last season
Aaron Connolly in action for the Hatters last season

Former Luton loan signing Aaron Connolly made his Premier League debut at the weekend, coming on as a second half substitute for Brighton & Hove Albion during their 4-0 defeat at Manchester City.

The 19-year-old spent the second half of last season at Kenilworth Road, although injury saw him restricted to just two substitute appearances for the Hatters.

However, he has been promoted to the first team squad under new Seagulls boss Graham Potter, scoring his maiden professional goal in the 2-1 Carabao Cup win at Bristol Rovers last week.

He then replaced Neal Maupay after 66 minutes at the Etihad with Brighton trailing 3-0 at the weekend, with Bernardo Silva adding a fourth late on.

Connolly hopes it’s the first of many appearances in the top flight now, as he told the Seagulls' official website: “I don’t think it will sink in for a while and I felt a little bit speechless because it was something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

“I’m proud that all my hard work is paying off, it’s been three or four years coming – I came over here when I was 15 or 16 and have been working hard every day to get to this stage.

“It is every young kid’s dream making their Premier League debut.

“It’s the same with me. I’ve always wanted to do it since I was young and, thankfully, it happened.

“The result didn’t go the way me or the team wanted but I’m just proud to have my debut and, hopefully, this is the first of many.

“Thankfully the gaffer has trusted me and I’m delighted – training with the first team every day is great and then I got my chance. Now I know I have to be patient and take my chances when they come to me.

“This year I want to just try and play as many games as possible, I have a little taste of the Premier League now and I want a lot more.

“I’ll just keep working hard and take my chances if they come along to repay the manager’s trust.”