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Albion want Dunk to stay for the long haul
Albion want Lewis Dunk to stay with them for the long haul.
The Seagulls regard the 22-year-old centre-half as the natural successor to Gordon Greer and Matt Upson and are keen to build their future defence around him.
Dunk, under contract until the end of next season, has starred in successive clean sheets for Oscar Garcia’s promotion chasers.
He partnered Upson, 34, in last Tuesday’s 2-0 home victory against QPR, with Greer suspended.
Dunk then celebrated the 50th league appearance of his career by teaming up with Greer, 33, in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Bolton, which Upson missed through illness.
The 22-year-old was handed his debut at 18 by former boss Gus Poyet but his Albion career stalled during a long-running court case in which he was cleared of voyeurism and sexual assault.
Oscar’s assistant Nathan Jones told The Argus: “I remember Gus picking him out from a young age and rated him and played him. Gus had a lot of faith in him, we have as well.
“Lewis has had certain issues in terms of a year which he probably missed mentally. Now we’ve asked him, we’ve spoke to him, we are looking at him for a long-term future here. We see him as a Brighton player. We want him to be here for a long time.”
Dunk has played a part in five of Albion’s last seven matches in the Championship and FA Cup after 15 months without making a league appearance and a spell on loan at Bristol City.
Jones said: “We want him to realise it isn’t just ability but how you work, how you prepare, how you look after yourself, how you are off the pitch.
“That is all part and parcel of being a top Brighton player. He is starting to learn that now. He trains superbly well and that is proving dividends now in games.”
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