Vitalijs Maksimenko has been urged to secure a first team spot with his new Dutch club after being sent out on loan.

The Albion defender has teamed up with second-tier VVV-Venlo for the rest of the season.

Maksimenko has struggled for opportunities with the Seagulls.

But Sami Hyypia reckons that can change in Holland.

The Albion boss said: “At this stage of his career it's important for Vitalijs that he plays regular games and continues to learn as part of his development.

"He's a good defender, a very good professional, and a player who works hard, trains well and wants to get better, but his options here this season are limited with the defenders we have at the club.

"At the moment he would be our fourth choice but, at his age, he needs to play regular first-team football, which is also important for his international aspirations, and therefore we have agreed to let him go on loan to Venlo."

Maksimenko, 23, is a regular with the Latvian national team.

He is currently with the squad ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against Armenia.

Albion signed him from Latvian team Skonta Riga in January 2013 and have since released him on loan to Yeovil and Kilmarnock.

Venlo are seventh in the 20-team Eerste Divisie after five rounds.