Vancouver Whitecaps defender Sam Adekugbe training with Brighton

Amex Stadium Brighton

The Canadian international, 20, will spend the next four weeks with the Championship club.

Vancouver Whitecaps left-back Sam Adekugbe has joined Brighton & Hove Albion for a four-week training stint, the Championship club have confirmed on their official website.

Adekugbe, 20, will train with Albion until 20 December “as part of his ongoing development”, having seen Vancouver’s 2015 MLS Cup Playoff campaign ended by a 2-0 aggregate defeat to the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Semifinals earlier this month.

The Canadian international, who was born in London and raised in Manchester before immigrating with his family to Calgary, Alberta, at the age of nine, previously spent time last offseason with Rangers FC and even Liverpool, where his initial one-week spell was extended to a fortnight after impressing the Premier League side’s coaching staff.

His current spell, meanwhile, came about via Brighton chief executive Paul Barber’s relationship with Vancouver, where he worked as CEO between 2010 and 2012 during the Canadian club’s first two MLS seasons.

Barber himself told seagulls.co.uk: "It is not uncommon for MLS players to train with other clubs during the off season, and we are delighted to welcome Sam into the club for a period of time to experience English football.

"He's an articulate young man, and having come through Vancouver's youth system - known as the residency programme, and similar to our academy system - the club is very proud of his achievements.

"As he was born in England, it also makes it very easy for Sam to come over to the UK, as he has done previously, when training with Liverpool and Rangers."

Adekugbe originally joined Vancouver as a Homgrown player in August 2013 and has since made 19 total appearances for the club, while also earning two senior international caps for Canada.

The promising defender was named in the MLS Team of the Week after his first league start of the 2015 season in March, but a series of injuries meant he finished the term with just 11 starts in 14 games across all competitions.

Nevertheless, he is widely regarded as one of the top young prospects in MLS, and his spell with Brighton should give him some valuable experience to take back to North America ahead of what could be a breakout 2016 campaign.

In addition, if he makes a good impression at the Amex Stadium over the coming weeks, then Seagulls boss Chris Hughton might want to keep close tabs on him going forward.

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