Defender Romaric Yapi has signed a new contract with the club until 2022, with the option for a further a year.
The former Paris Saint-Germain player was a regular for Simon Rusk’s under-23 side throughout last season’s campaign, making 14 appearances in Premier League 2. He made his first-team debut as a substitute in the Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa last September and also played in four matches in the EFL Trophy against League opposition.
“I am very happy because it is my second contract for Brighton. It is a good day, because I love this club, I really enjoy working towards the objectives we have,” the 20-year-old said.
“The culture is different, the food is different, the language is different! But I feel I have adapted well.
“The project here is the same as it was at PSG, but English football is different – it’s very physical, very technical. In France it’s a bit slow and calm.”
Yapi says working with head coach Rusk has been a huge positive.
He added, “Simon is a very good coach, I am very happy to work with him for another season. His philosophy is good, he talks me about the position I play a lot and what I need to do if I want to play with the first team.
“I need to work on my focus on the pitch because I can be guilty of switching off sometimes, but I am very focused on the project and I want to give my best for the team.
“This coming season I want to improve my connection with my teammates, although it has become very good.
“When I first joined I didn’t understand every player, but now I understand the relationship. I don’t worry about next season because the team is good, I can’t wait to play.”
John Morling, Albion’s Academy Manager, said: “Romaric settled in really well last season and he produced some eye-catching performances for the under-23s.
“He’s blessed with great pace but he knows he has to keep working hard. We look forward to working with him in the future and helping him to develop.”