The Whitecaps have loaned defender Sam Adekugbe to English club Brighton and Hove Albion. The terms of the loan will keep the 21-year-old Canadian international with the Seagulls until June 2017.
— BHAFC (@OfficialBHAFC) July 15, 2016
“We continue to look for ways for our young players to develop, and this will be a great opportunity for Sam,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “We’ll be tracking his progress closely while he is on loan as he remains an important member of our club.”
With veterans Jordan Harvey and Marcel de Jong ahead of Adekugbe on the depth chart the loan makes sense for both parties. The Whitecaps have a deep squad, and the recent addition of de Jong has pushed Adekugbe one rung further down on the depth chart.
Adekugbe has trained with several English clubs in recent years, and spent time training with Brighton this past winter.
Brighton, who play in the second tier of English professional soccer, finished third in the Championship in 2016 and missed out on automatic promotion the English Premier League. Brighton made a valiant promotion effort, but were defeated by Sheffield Wednesday by an aggregate score of 3-1 in the Football League playoffs.
Adekugbe has made 18 career starts with the Whitecaps, as well as seeing time with WF2 this season.
The move allows Adekugbe to continue his development with a competitive club instead of being limited to the Whitecaps’ substitutes bench or playing with the Whitecaps’ USL team. The big question, of course, is whether Adekugbe will be able to crack the starting line up with Brighton.