The ArgusHughes can be Mr Dependable (From The Argus)

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Hughes can be Mr Dependable

The Argus: Aaron Hughes can fill the gap left by Matt Upson Aaron Hughes can fill the gap left by Matt Upson

Lewis Dunk has been ruled out of the rest of Albion’s pre-season trip to Spain.

But an ankle injury will not wreck the young central defender’s hopes of staying in the mix under Sami Hyypia.

Dunk was hurt during the second half of Albion’s 4-0 stroll against Partick Thistle in Pinatar on Saturday evening.

Soft tissue damage will sideline him from tomorrow night’s clash against Real Betis.

Hyypia and his players fly home on Friday and Dunk is expected to be available for either the friendly at Crawley next Wednesday or the penultimate warm-up at Peterborough three days later.

The 22-year-old’s injury setback has coincided with the addition to the squad of experienced Northern Ireland international Aaron Hughes.

Hyypia’s first signing is in pole position to partner captain Gordon Greer, with Dunk and 23-year-old Latvian international Vitalijs Maksimenko as back-up.

Maksimenko is eager to push on under Hyypia in the final year of his contract following loan spells in the last two seasons with Yeovil and Kilmarnock.

Hughes, Greer, Maksimenko and development squad prospect Glen Rea could all feature against Betis in Dunk’s absence.

Albion could not have found a better replacement for Matt Upson than Hughes after losing their player of the season in May to Premier League newcomers Leicester City.

Hughes, like Upson, is a model professional with a wealth of experience at the highest level.

The ultra-consistent Upson, who was 35 in April, is a hard act to follow.

He featured in 43 of Albion’s 46 matches in the Championship last term and was sorely missed when a persistent ankle tendon problem ruled him out of the second leg of the play-offs at Derby County.

The record of Hughes, seven months Upson’s junior, suggests he is every bit as dependable.

He has made 604 club appearances for Newcastle, Aston Villa, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, the vast majority of them in the Premier League, since his debut for the Toon against Barcelona in the Champions League at the Nou Camp in November 1997.

That compares favourably with Upson’s 447 outings for nine clubs, including Arsenal and West Ham, over a slightly longer period.

The competition is far less severe but Hughes has also been capped 90 times by Northern Ireland, many of them as skipper, compared to Upson’s 21 caps for England.

There are two other benefits accompanying the capture of Hughes – his versatility and composure.

Centre-half is his main role but he can operate as well in either of the full-back positions or in midfield.

There is also no chance of Hughes losing his head when the heat is on. Astonishingly, he has never been sent off.

Half of the spine of the Albion team is now in place for Hyypia, with defensive midfielder Nzuzi Toko signed prior to his appointment.

The remaining issues are the goalkeeping replacement for Tomasz Kuszczak and the uncertainty surrounding the future of Leo Ulloa, who could still end up as a team-mate of Upson once more in the East Midlands.

Hughes and Northern Ireland launch their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign away to Hungary on September 7. They also have Hyypia’s Finland, Greece, Romania and the Faroe Islands in their group.

Greer, meanwhile, has a European Championship qualifier against World Cup winners Germany in Dortmund on September 7 and a friendly against England at Celtic Park on November 18 to look forward to with Scotland. Greer was an unused substitute in Scotland’s 3-2 defeat by England at Wembley last August.

Comments (13)

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2:20pm Wed 16 Jul 14

To baldly go says...

No disrespect to any of the older players but we need to plan for the future, bringing in the likes of Hughes, as good as he is, is just going to stifle the developement of the likes of Dunk and Maksi. These 2 are 22/23 yrs old, they are no longer development players and if they sit in the back ground this season will look to go else where imo. That could leave us looking for 3 or 4 CBs come next season. Concerned for the future that is all. UTA
No disrespect to any of the older players but we need to plan for the future, bringing in the likes of Hughes, as good as he is, is just going to stifle the developement of the likes of Dunk and Maksi. These 2 are 22/23 yrs old, they are no longer development players and if they sit in the back ground this season will look to go else where imo. That could leave us looking for 3 or 4 CBs come next season. Concerned for the future that is all. UTA To baldly go
  • Score: -19

2:27pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Clean Sheet says...

Yep, looking forward to Hughes playing a similar role to Matty Upson, who had a fantastic season with us. Playing 43/46 matches for any footballer is a terrific achievement, and I hope Hughes stays injury free to do something similar. We also had the best out of Wayne Bridge, again, a fantastic season for Brighton, and a shame that his career ended the way it did.
Yep, looking forward to Hughes playing a similar role to Matty Upson, who had a fantastic season with us. Playing 43/46 matches for any footballer is a terrific achievement, and I hope Hughes stays injury free to do something similar. We also had the best out of Wayne Bridge, again, a fantastic season for Brighton, and a shame that his career ended the way it did. Clean Sheet
  • Score: 12

2:33pm Wed 16 Jul 14

John1010 says...

Depends how he's used doesn't it? There's every sign Sami will give young players opportunities if they're good enough and the club is committed to developing its own talent - and bringing in youthful promise from outside. With Walton, JFC, Solly, Chicksen, Maxi, Ince and more in the first team squad, and others like Harris, Hunt, Starkey, Barry and Rea pushing to get in, there's plenty of competition. Aaron Hughes is perfectly in the Matt Upson mould, and the younger players will learn a lot from his experience and example. Will he be a regular at CB? Who knows but we need youth and experience, options and depth to the squad, and on that basis he looks a quality addition.
Depends how he's used doesn't it? There's every sign Sami will give young players opportunities if they're good enough and the club is committed to developing its own talent - and bringing in youthful promise from outside. With Walton, JFC, Solly, Chicksen, Maxi, Ince and more in the first team squad, and others like Harris, Hunt, Starkey, Barry and Rea pushing to get in, there's plenty of competition. Aaron Hughes is perfectly in the Matt Upson mould, and the younger players will learn a lot from his experience and example. Will he be a regular at CB? Who knows but we need youth and experience, options and depth to the squad, and on that basis he looks a quality addition. John1010
  • Score: 10

2:36pm Wed 16 Jul 14

mikeygit says...

Another classic Argus Non--story!!
Another classic Argus Non--story!! mikeygit
  • Score: -14

3:20pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Brighton Barca says...

i really like Ulloa, and rate him. but surely he is disproportionate to our needs. he is good, but not indispensable. rather than keep one player worth £7M (or whatever), and no one else worth over £1m, aren't we better off selling him and getting 3 or 4 players worth around £2m mark (Bridcutt went for little more than this). this approach must give us a better chance of play-offs, than hanging on to one player but not having the players to support him.
i really like Ulloa, and rate him. but surely he is disproportionate to our needs. he is good, but not indispensable. rather than keep one player worth £7M (or whatever), and no one else worth over £1m, aren't we better off selling him and getting 3 or 4 players worth around £2m mark (Bridcutt went for little more than this). this approach must give us a better chance of play-offs, than hanging on to one player but not having the players to support him. Brighton Barca
  • Score: 24

4:14pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Cockwomble says...

Brighton Barca wrote:
i really like Ulloa, and rate him. but surely he is disproportionate to our needs. he is good, but not indispensable. rather than keep one player worth £7M (or whatever), and no one else worth over £1m, aren't we better off selling him and getting 3 or 4 players worth around £2m mark (Bridcutt went for little more than this). this approach must give us a better chance of play-offs, than hanging on to one player but not having the players to support him.
by revised reports we got near 4m for bridcutt and turned down more than 1.5m for buckley.but i dont disagree with your main point
[quote][p][bold]Brighton Barca[/bold] wrote: i really like Ulloa, and rate him. but surely he is disproportionate to our needs. he is good, but not indispensable. rather than keep one player worth £7M (or whatever), and no one else worth over £1m, aren't we better off selling him and getting 3 or 4 players worth around £2m mark (Bridcutt went for little more than this). this approach must give us a better chance of play-offs, than hanging on to one player but not having the players to support him.[/p][/quote]by revised reports we got near 4m for bridcutt and turned down more than 1.5m for buckley.but i dont disagree with your main point Cockwomble
  • Score: 7

4:49pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Mayfield sweeper says...

I'm sure Hughes will do a job, but really we need some attacking zest and a lot more goals and he won't be doing much on that front. I think it was the fact that he was free that we snapped him up.
I'm sure Hughes will do a job, but really we need some attacking zest and a lot more goals and he won't be doing much on that front. I think it was the fact that he was free that we snapped him up. Mayfield sweeper
  • Score: -5

7:55pm Wed 16 Jul 14

hannover seagull says...

We are Brighton Super Brighton
With a mix of old and new we will storm the league this year
We are Brighton Super Brighton With a mix of old and new we will storm the league this year hannover seagull
  • Score: 4

9:07pm Wed 16 Jul 14

hannover seagull says...

Cockwomble wrote:
Brighton Barca wrote:
i really like Ulloa, and rate him. but surely he is disproportionate to our needs. he is good, but not indispensable. rather than keep one player worth £7M (or whatever), and no one else worth over £1m, aren't we better off selling him and getting 3 or 4 players worth around £2m mark (Bridcutt went for little more than this). this approach must give us a better chance of play-offs, than hanging on to one player but not having the players to support him.
by revised reports we got near 4m for bridcutt and turned down more than 1.5m for buckley.but i dont disagree with your main point
3 or four players mean 3 or four wages
That is the real cost,wages are the stumbling block unless you fly to earth on a parachute
[quote][p][bold]Cockwomble[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brighton Barca[/bold] wrote: i really like Ulloa, and rate him. but surely he is disproportionate to our needs. he is good, but not indispensable. rather than keep one player worth £7M (or whatever), and no one else worth over £1m, aren't we better off selling him and getting 3 or 4 players worth around £2m mark (Bridcutt went for little more than this). this approach must give us a better chance of play-offs, than hanging on to one player but not having the players to support him.[/p][/quote]by revised reports we got near 4m for bridcutt and turned down more than 1.5m for buckley.but i dont disagree with your main point[/p][/quote]3 or four players mean 3 or four wages That is the real cost,wages are the stumbling block unless you fly to earth on a parachute hannover seagull
  • Score: 4

9:29pm Wed 16 Jul 14

raymondo999 says...

I'm full of confidence for the coming season. A great new manager with lots of experience of English football and extensive contacts. The signing of Aaron is very promising first step. A blend of experience and youth is what we need. Leo has been the main man as Albion goalscorer but is not irreplaceable. With Lingard , if we can get him back, and CMS , I see a far more mobile fast moving strike force. Lots of quickl play on the ground. Can't wait for things to explode at the Amex.
I'm full of confidence for the coming season. A great new manager with lots of experience of English football and extensive contacts. The signing of Aaron is very promising first step. A blend of experience and youth is what we need. Leo has been the main man as Albion goalscorer but is not irreplaceable. With Lingard , if we can get him back, and CMS , I see a far more mobile fast moving strike force. Lots of quickl play on the ground. Can't wait for things to explode at the Amex. raymondo999
  • Score: 7

9:43pm Wed 16 Jul 14

hannover seagull says...

Mayfield sweeper wrote:
I'm sure Hughes will do a job, but really we need some attacking zest and a lot more goals and he won't be doing much on that front. I think it was the fact that he was free that we snapped him up.
Attacking zest
I like that Mayfield
How about Frutos or Rohan Quince
Nothings for free these days apart from(freeloaders) dare i say
[quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: I'm sure Hughes will do a job, but really we need some attacking zest and a lot more goals and he won't be doing much on that front. I think it was the fact that he was free that we snapped him up.[/p][/quote]Attacking zest I like that Mayfield How about Frutos or Rohan Quince Nothings for free these days apart from(freeloaders) dare i say hannover seagull
  • Score: 5

1:39am Thu 17 Jul 14

Oscar's Chin says...

hannover seagull wrote:
Mayfield sweeper wrote:
I'm sure Hughes will do a job, but really we need some attacking zest and a lot more goals and he won't be doing much on that front. I think it was the fact that he was free that we snapped him up.
Attacking zest
I like that Mayfield
How about Frutos or Rohan Quince
Nothings for free these days apart from(freeloaders) dare i say
Lemonardo Ulloa?
[quote][p][bold]hannover seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: I'm sure Hughes will do a job, but really we need some attacking zest and a lot more goals and he won't be doing much on that front. I think it was the fact that he was free that we snapped him up.[/p][/quote]Attacking zest I like that Mayfield How about Frutos or Rohan Quince Nothings for free these days apart from(freeloaders) dare i say[/p][/quote]Lemonardo Ulloa? Oscar's Chin
  • Score: 3

1:41am Thu 17 Jul 14

Oscar's Chin says...

And of course we should have appointed Paul Clementine as new coach!
And of course we should have appointed Paul Clementine as new coach! Oscar's Chin
  • Score: 3
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