Maheta Molango is about to join a select band of foreign recruits who have pulled on Albion's colours.

While there has been an explosion of foreign players in the British game during the last ten years, it is a market the Seagulls have rarely dabbled in.

Just 20 players from outside Great Britain and Ireland have played for Albion in competitive action which is less than Premiership sides Chelsea (23) and Arsenal (23) currently boast on their books.

Of those 20 players, only six have played ten or more games for the Seagulls.

While some of their First Division opponents could be fielding half-a-dozen foreign players this season, Albion have never used more than two in a competitive game.

Michel Kuipers (Holland) and Paul Reid (Australia) currently stand out as the only two overseas players at Withdean.

That could all change if Mark McGhee hands a contract to any of his trio of trialists - Molango, Zsomber Kerekes and Ibrahim Tankary - who have appeared in the last two friendlies against Woking and Crawley.

If Molango, who has scored three times in those two games, repeats his pre-season form he could even become the most popular Albion foreign player of all time.

To do that, though, he must overcome a case of double Dutch.

Hans Kraay is arguably the most popular foreign player in Albion's history, even though he only played 23 times for the club.

Labelled by the press as 'the dirtiest player in Europe' when Chris Cattlin signed him in 1983, Kraay soon endeared himself to the Goldstone faithful.

His boundless enthusiasm was a winner with the fans who particularly loved his pogo antics in front of opposition goalkeepers at corners.

Kraay was a regular in the side as Albion almost won promotion back to the First Division in 1984-85 but his reputation eventually caught up with him and he was released the following season after two red cards and countless bookings.

Goalkeeper Kuipers, also from Holland, is the only foreign recruit to appear more than 100 times in Albion's colours.

Signed in 2000 from Bristol Rovers, Kuipers has helped Albion to three promotions in his four years with the club and is highly popular with the fans.

He may currently be playing second fiddle to Ben Roberts but McGhee knows he has a top class alternative for the No. 1 jersey.

While two Dutchmen have won over Albion hearts, two Russians signed by Barry Lloyd may have run them close had they stayed longer on the South Coast.

Sergei Gotsmanov arrived at the Goldstone on trial in February, 1990. He had already won 31 caps for the USSR and scored in the Soviets' 2-0 defeat of England at Wembley.

Gotsmanov bagged four goals in 16 games for Albion, including a moment of real class in one game when he rounded the opposition goalkeeper and saluted to the fans in the South Stand before putting the ball in the net.

Albion wanted to sign Gotsmanov permanently but could not compete with terms offered by Southampton and the player moved to The Dell.

The following season Igor Gurinovich followed his compatriot to the Goldstone and scored twice in six games. A £50,000 fee was agreed with his club, Dinamo Minsk, but Gurinovich was refused a work permit and instead moved to Cyprus.

At around the same time, Albion signed Romanian international Stefan Iovan, who had already appeared in two European Cup finals and had played for his country at the 1990 World Cup. Iovan made ten appearances for Albion, including the 1991 play-off final at Wembley, but was surprisingly given few opportunities the following season and, after helping the reserves win the Sussex Senior Cup, he headed back across the Channel.

The first post-war foreign players to turn out for Albion were Israelis.

Moshe Gariani, who had impressed for his national team in a friendly against the Seagulls, was signed by Alan Mullery but made just one first team appearance as a substitute away to Southampton in September 1990.

His compatriot, Jacob Cohen, joined Albion for £40,000 the following month but failed to seriously challenge Gary Williams for the leftback role and made just six appearances.

Other foreign players to turn out for Albion include American goalkeepers Tony Meola and Juergen Sommer, who made just three appearances between them, Alistair Edwards, Andy Petterson, Dave Clarkson (Australia), Dele Adekola, Emeka Ifejiagwa (Nigeria), Valur Gislason, Ivar Ingimarsson (Iceland), Lorenzo Pinamonte (Italy), Dirk Lehmann (Germany) and Tony Rougier (Trinidad and Tobago).