De Zerbi: Buonanotte's Chelsea performance was his best

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Roberto De Zerbi also revealed that he's talks about a new contract with Albion.

By Charlie Hanson • 05 December 2023

By James Boardman
Facundo Buonanotte has played in each of Albion's last five games.

Roberto De Zerbi believes that Facundo Buonanotte’s display in the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday was the Argentinian’s best in an Albion shirt.

The 18-year-old scored our first goal of the game to make it 2-1, curling home brilliantly into the bottom left corner.

“I want to be focused on Facundo Buonanotte [after Chelsea]," De Zerbi said. "He played very well, his best game at Brighton. He is getting better and better.

“I know when a young player plays they can make mistakes and need to improve. If they have a talent, a quality, they become better. Facundo can become an important player for us.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Facundo Buonanotte has been directly involved in two goals in his last three Premier League appearances, scoring against Chelsea and assisting Simon Adingra against Sheffield United.

The head coach now wants to see the attacking midfielder improve his physicality.

“He didn’t deserve to finish the game [against Chelsea] after ten minutes into the second half, maybe I made a mistake in the substitution,” Roberto continued. “But I didn’t think he could finish the game. He needs to work hard to reach the best physical condition.

"He needs more time to reach the best condition, the gym is not a problem. In the past he maybe could have played for the under-21s to improve his condition, his game time, because when you start the game and you have to already make two or three substitutions based on physicality, it’s difficult.

“I would like to decide the substitution on the performance and not the physical condition.”

By James Boardman
Roberto De Zerbi's team face Brentford on Wednesday night.

Roberto also revealed that he's in talks about extending his contract with the club.

"I feel very well in Brighton, I have a great relationship with the players, the club, Tony Bloom, Paul Barber, David Weir and everybody who works at the club. Yes, we are speaking about a new contract, but at the moment we are speaking, it’s not done yet.

"I usually work to be happy and to enjoy, and I feel very good in Brighton. At the end we have to analyse the target and if it’s the same with the club, it’s an honour for me to work in Brighton.

"I don’t try to reach the higher level, the most important thing for me is working seriously, with a good team and players, but it’s important for me to fix an important target."