sport news Tariq Lamptey is proving Chelsea were wrong to sell him at Brighton

Tariq Lamptey is in some illustrious company among all the scouting reports experienced talent spotter Giovanni Gullo has stored on his phone.

'Zinedine Zidane he was in , 17 when I first saw him,' Gullo tells Sportsmail as he starts to reel off just some of the players he first saw as youngsters, the meticulous notes on them that he used to type and fax now on a handheld device in a sign of the times and also his longevity in the game.

'Juventus didn't buy the player then. I said to them "please take this player" but they didn't believe because he was young and then Juventus was very strong … Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio. But then they sign the player seven years later!

Tariq Lamptey has been Brighton's best player in the opening weeks of the new season

Tariq Lamptey has been Brighton's best player in the opening weeks of the new season

After leaving Chelsea in January, Lamptey ignored interest from abroad to sign with Brighton

After leaving Chelsea in January, Lamptey ignored interest from abroad to sign with Brighton

'I also see the France national team coach Didier Deschamps and Claude Makelele, the two players who were at Nantes. After that, all the French players that came to Milan was me… Philippe Mexes, Yohan Gourcouff, Mathieu Flamini, Mbaye Niang.'

One of the first players Gullo, 64, took to Milan was Patrick Vieira. The pair are now reunited again at Nice, Vieira as manager and Gullo one of their scouts.

Lamptey was one of the players Gullo, a scout for 35 years who has also worked for Monaco and been a sporting director in , recommended to the French club.

Gullo first saw Lamptey for Chelsea's youth team against Arsenal at Cobham and recalls him having the same 'wow' factor as another future star the Italian watched long before he became a household name.

'I saw him [Lamptey] when he was 16 years old,' Gullo recalled. 'I remember one player that was like him but not the same position, when he was young, Samuel Eto'o.

'I saw Samuel Eto'o when he was 14 in Brasseries academy in Cameroon. He [Lamptey] gave me the same impression "woah".

Giovanni Gullo scouted Lamptey when he was just 16 and drew comparisons to Samuel Eto'o

Giovanni Gullo scouted Lamptey when he was just 16 and drew comparisons to Samuel Eto'o

Lamptey was key in the Chelsea under-19s run to the UEFA Youth League final back in 2019

Lamptey was key in the Chelsea under-19s run to the UEFA Youth League final back in 2019

'Fast, quick, wow, wow and for this I say "ok, let's see". Physically he wasn't so strong because he was not a big right back but he is explosive, dynamic. A good player.

'He showed me that he can make the difference. When you see one player like this you think "wow, this player can have something".'

Gullo went back and compiled his report on Lamptey, reviewed further video footage and, although his mind was quickly made up, watched him live seven times in total and had his early impressions backed up by his Nice colleagues.

Last season he hoped Lamptey would join Nice and start making the difference in Ligue 1 but it was instead Brighton who won the race to sign him from Chelsea.

'I don't know the word in English but in Italian this is the frustrazione… when you see a player and after you cannot take him,' said Gullo, who also has the likes of Anthony Martial, Mohamed Salah, Hugo Lloris and Ansu Fati on his list of near misses.

'I was a little bit disappointed he didn't come to us because I think it was a good opportunity but I hope for him the best.'

Lamptey has been Brighton's best performer in their opening two games and one of the league's most exciting talents, the diminutive, 5ft 4in, all-action 19 year-old making a big impression since leaving Chelsea

read more from dailymail.....

PREV sport news Gary Neville wants an independent football regulator but how would it work?
NEXT sport news Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk offer Neco Williams their total ...