Chelsea prospect to trial with Brighton

George Cole is set to link up with Sami Hyypia's squad, as he fights for his chance to earn a contract with the Seagulls.

The youngster, who has been with Chelsea since the age of 11, spent a period with Brighton and Hove Albion's development team last season, and according to The Argus, is set join up with the first-team next week for the beginning of pre-season training.

The 18-year old desires to leave Chelsea, knowing it is unlikely he will break into the Blues squad, and will be hoping to use his trial period as a means to impress former Liverpool legend and new Seagulls boss Sami Hyypia for the first time.

The attack-minded midfielder, who usually features on the right side of an attacking trio, but can also play on the left or as a number 10, has been capped by England at Under-16 and Under-17 level, and started last season as a regular in the side which eventually won the FA Youth Cup.

Having been awarded a professional contract at Stamford Bridge, he unfortunately suffered a long-term hip injury which ruled him out of the second half of the season - and the Cup Final victory.

Having impressed whilst with the Seagulls development side last season, Cole was offered a return this summer, and a move to the Amex Stadium could be the road to full-time professional football - a path already taken by two former Chelsea starlets.

Liam Bridcutt and Rohan Ince joined up with the Seagulls following their departures from Chelsea, in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

Bridcutt, a central part of the midfield which got to the 2013 play-off semi-final, was voted Brighton Player of the Season two years in a row, before a move to Sunderland in January 2014 saw him become a vital part of former manager Gus Poyet's Premier League survivors. His vacant spot in defensive midfield was claimed by the 21-year old Ince, who has made 28 appearances for Brighton since arriving in February 2013.

Brighton face competition from Championship rivals Ipswich and recently promoted Brentford, although Cole's previous experience with the Seagulls, as well as his early arrival at their training ground suggests a move to the South coast is imminent - although a deal cannot be officially agreed until the player's contract expires in September.

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