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Chris Hughton confirms Jurgen Locadia is in Brighton’s squad for Stoke clash

Brighton’s £14million record signing Jurgen Locadia is set to make his long-awaited debut in Saturday’s crunch clash at relegation rivals Stoke.

Dutch forward Locadia arrived from Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven during last month’s transfer window but was carrying a hamstring injury.

Albion manager Chris Hughton confirmed the 24-year-old has returned to fitness and will be included in his squad at the bet365 Stadium as the south coast club attempt to boost their Premier League survival hopes.

“He obviously hasn’t been involved in any games, Under-23 games or so, but he will have completed a good week and a half of training going into the game so certainly he’ll be in the squad,” said Hughton, whose 13th-placed team are three points ahead of 18th-placed Stoke.

“We know where he is at the moment, he has been out for a period of time. Some players can fit straight back in after that period, some take just that little bit longer.

“The most important thing for us is that he is now fit and available. And of course he will have the opportunity to help the team and to help us try and get the results that we need to get and we look forward to that.

“He’s an offensive player that so far this season at his previous club has a good record of scoring goals.”

Locadia managed 45 goals in 127 league appearances for PSV, including nine this campaign.

His arrival at the Amex Stadium has coincided with the good form of Brighton’s top scorer Glenn Murray.

Veteran striker Murray has hit five goals in his last seven games in all competitions – including the opener in last weekend’s important 3-1 success over West Ham – to double his tally to 10 for the season.

Having also signed former Albion striker Leonardo Ulloa on loan from Leicester in January, Hughton has plenty of attacking options.

Asked if he now has a selection headache up front, he replied: “Yes. But I knew that as soon as I made the decision that I wanted to bring in further options in the offensive areas and, in particular, number nines.

“I would certainly rather at this stage of the season have those problems, or headaches, than not have them.”

Albion have close to a fully-fit squad for the game against Paul Lambert’s Potters with injured midfielders Steve Sidwell and Jiri Skalak the only absentees.

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