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Brighton’s Aaron Connolly scores his side’s second goal during the Premier League match against Burnley

Brighton’s Aaron Connolly scores his side’s second goal during the Premier League match against Burnley


Brighton’s Aaron Connolly scores his side’s second goal during the Premier League match against Burnley

Ireland international Aaron Connolly has backed himself to score more goals in the Premier League next season after he ended discussion about his future by agreeing a four-year deal with Brighton.

Connolly had two years left on his existing deal with the Seagulls but this new contract, running to June 2024, will see him boost his current salary from £10,000 a week to £35,000 a week.

The 20-year-old overcame injury to enjoy a breakthrough season at Premier League level as he scored three goals in 24 league appearances last term.

Connolly paid tribute to the manager who gave him his chance, Graham Potter, and promised to reward his faith next season.

"Without the manager I don't think I would have played any Premier League games for Brighton by now," said the Galway native.

"I owe a lot to him and I want to repay that faith that he has shown in me next season.

"The trust he has put in me is a huge bonus even without the goals, so if I can score regularly next season it will make me even happier.

"It's fantastic the club have given me this kind of security because it means I can push on now for the next four years. It will help me relax and enjoy my football even more.

"This season has been unbelievable at times and obviously the Tottenham game, when I scored twice, was a big moment for me. But then I had the dip where I didn't get the goals, which was tough to take.

"But to get one against Burnley on the final day of the season and to go into the break knowing I have scored another goal since Spurs was a great feeling. I am just looking forward improving even more next season."

Connolly is staying put but two other Ireland strikers are on the move, with Troy Parrott's move from Tottenham on loan to Millwall still being discussed.

Aiden O'Brien has secured h is future, dropping down a division by leaving Millwall for League One side Charlton.

Parrott made his debut for Spurs and for the Ireland senior team last season but manager Jose Mourinho remained unconvinced about his readiness for first team action in the Premier League or at European level and plans to send him on loan to Millwall for a full season.

In talks, Parrott has been reminded that current Spurs star, Harry Kane, had four loan spells, including one at Millwall, before establishing himself, and Stephen Kenny would be eager to see Parrott earn a move which would get him first-team football.

O'Brien, who scored once in his four appearances for Ireland's senior side under Martin O'Neill, was surprisingly released by Millwall last week.

The London native had floated the idea of a move to Europe but Sunderland moved quickly to land him on a two-year deal, promotion the key objective for the Black Cats.

"He's at a good age, he has experience of winning this division and he has played plenty of Championship football," says Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson.

"Aiden can also play in a variety of attacking roles, which I feel is important for us. We are delighted to welcome him to the club and we are looking forward to working with him."

However, the most unlikely transfer link of the summer involving an Irish player has seen Anthony Stokes mentioned as a possible recruit for Scottish non-league side East Kilbride.