Brighton & Hove Albion’s latest signing Leon Best says the prospect of linking up with Chris Hughton again was a crucial factor in his decision to sign for the club on loan until the end of the season.
Best was signed by Hughton during his time as Newcastle manager and the latest addition to the Albion squad had nothing but praise for the Seagulls boss.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “As soon as Chris came here I thought that was interesting and obviously I wasn’t playing much at Derby. I then got a call from my agent on the Sunday and then the manager Gary Bowyer called me and said there was a possibility of joining Brighton.
“He’s [Chris] a really good, genuine and honest man. He lets you go and play football and I’d play for him any time I could.
“He lets you enjoy the game, and, if you enjoy the game, then you’re going to play well for the team and that’s what he tries to bring out in all his players.”
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The 28-year-old has had a tough time with parent club Blackburn Rovers after an anterior cruciate ligament injury kept him on the sidelines for much of his first season in Lancashire, before spending time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County in a bid to gain regular first-team football.
The forward believes he is now in the perfect place to reignite his career and has been mightily impressed by the infrastructure at the club.
“It was really hard [at Blackburn]. Now it’s time to get somewhere, settle and get back to loving the game. You can only do that by playing, so I’m very grateful that Chris has brought me here to give me an opportunity to play.
“It’s all about playing and I’ve not played for a long time. I was coming on for five or ten minutes here and there for Derby and it wasn’t doing any justice for me.
“Hopefully Chris will give me some playing time; I might be eased in because I’ve not played much or I might be thrown straight into it, so it’s exciting.
“All I’ve heard over the last few months is how good the set-up was and everything that’s being done here is really positive and the training ground is the best I’ve seen in my career.”
Best is now relishing the prospect of making his Albion debut which could come tomorrow night against Ipswich Town, although the forward is ineligible to face Arsenal on Sunday due to being cup tied.
“It can’t come soon enough; I’m looking forward to everything as you can see by my smile. It’s a really good move for me and hopefully we can get a win.”