Enock Mwepu believes the best is yet to come from him in an Albion shirt.

Certainly on a sustained basis rather than in fits and starts.

His army of fans – and therefore Albion followers – in Zambia will hope he is right.

In fact, forget hope. They will have huge confidence in him being right.

The Seagulls midfielder is a sporting hero back home.

He underlined that when he dragged Zambia back on track just as it seemed their latest AFCON qualifying campaign might be going horribly wrong.

Beaten 3-1 by Ivory Coast in their opener, Zambia were trailing at home to Comoros, to a horribly messy goal, as a corner was directed straight to the first defender seconds from half-time.

The poor clearance was chested down by Mwepu, who then guided home a well-controlled volley to level the scores and re-ignite his team They went on to scrape home with a brilliant late free-kick from Klings Kangwa.

Mwepu the talisman had done it again - with all the authority of a man who has blazed the trail in the big league.

He was hindered by injury last term but is ready to build on what he did, including outstanding goals at Liverpool and Arsenal and assists versus Brentford, Everton and the Gunners.

Mwepu said: “It was a good move for me, my family and the rest of my fronds who love the Premier League.

“I would say it has been a great season.

“Obviously so many setbacks, injuries.

“I’ve been in and out and that made me feel a little bit bad sometimes.

“But I know who I am, I know my qualities.

“I still continued to perform at the best level I can.

“You saw I won the goal of the season so it really sums up how my season has been.

“I really can’t wait for next season and I pray I can train more and not have so many injuries.”

Fans were on the pitch at the end of the Comoros game.

They included Trevor Kantumoya, a 22-year-old business student who braved “the cold” as temperatures dipped below 20degC and showed off the short-sleeved Albion replica shirt he bought from a store in Lusaka.

He is not the only one wearing the stripes and following the Seagulls from afar, confident their hero is set for a big 2022-23 campaign.

Trevor told The Argus: “I’ve been watching Brighton since they came up but when they signed Enock I got the jersey.

“Every time Brighton play, I have to watch them.

“Almost every Zambian is a Brighton fan now!

“We watch them whether Enock is playing or not.

“I was watching the Liverpool game live when he scored at Anfield and Zambians were going crazy.


“It meant so much to us, even as fans.

“I think if Enock looked to the crowd in Lusaka he will have seen us because I wasn’t the only one who put on a Brighton jersey.”

Mwepu appears to talk to the media before and after every Zambia match.

He has called for players to up their efforts after the three points were secured against Comoros.

Although he was not necessarily man of the match, the impression he is the leader on and off the pitch of the national team was reinforced.

The most obvious comparison is with Steven Gerrard in his later years at Liverpool.

Mwepu is yet to have that profile with Albion but clearly has leadership qualities.

His eagerness to show what he can do week in, week out is shared by his fans.

Trevor, like many, dreams of one day travelling to Brighton to see him play.

No matter how cold it is.

For now, though, the support will be from afar.

He was watching via a live stream on the club's YouTube platform as his idol secured Albion's goal of the season prize and said: “I really can’t wait for next season.

“I think it is going to be a crazy one, considering the fact we ended really well.


“I’m hoping we will be fighting for European positions and I really think Enock is going to do more.

“The injuries have been holding him back.

“If that changes, he will do amazing things, “I love the way the gaffer plays him because he plays him in his best position.

“I think we can expect more than he did in the first season.”