Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 forward Viktor Gyokeres thanked the club for showing belief in his ability after the Sweden international signed a new three-year contract on the south coast.
Gyokeres, who has scored eight goals for Albion’s under-23s and made five first-team appearances this season, put pen to paper on a new deal this afternoon, which keeps him with the club until June 2022.
The 20-year-old has delivered some eye-catching displays since making his under-23 debut in January 2018, and Gyokeres is now focused on working hard to reap more senior opportunities.
“I’m really happy to sign a new deal and it feels good to have it all done. I’m happy that the club wants me to stay here — I like this club and it feels like they believe in me.
“I want to do my best to prove that I can do good things here. I moved to another country with another language, so of course it’s been different compared to Sweden, but I’ve settled in well.
“It’s been good to train with the first team and travel with them to away games this season — it’s been a great experience and hopefully there will be more of that in the future.
“Next season I want to do better than I’ve done this year. Of course I’d like to play in the first team, but I’ve got to work hard in pre-season, see what happens and what is best for me.”
The forward has been a mainstay in Simon Rusk’s under-23 team during their first season in the Premier League 2 Division 1, and Gyokeres highlighted the adaption he’s had to make since moving to a new country.
“I think I’ve improved — it’s been a bit different, in terms of how the game is played at Brighton compared to my previous clubs, so from that perspective I’ve needed to adapt.
“We’ve needed to defend deeper in quite a lot of games, so I’ve had to improve on that aspect of my game, which I believe I have done since coming here.
“Football in England is also a lot more physical than what I was used to in Sweden — it’s a bigger challenge for me.”
Gyokeres continued to speak about Albion’s under-23 team, who finish their league season against Chelsea on Friday evening, before also emphasising his desire to test himself further.
“We had a good run during the last part of the season when I first came here and we managed to win promotion.
“This season we continued to do the right things — we’ve done very well in our first season in the top division of under-23 football.
“It’s always been my aim to play at the highest level and I’ll continue working hard in order to do that.”