Blackpool complete transfer deadline day signing of Brighton striker for development squad

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Blackpool have completed the transfer deadline day signing of Brighton forward Zak Emmerson.
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The 18-year-old, who will initially link up with the club’s development squad, has arrived for an undisclosed fee.

The forward has put pen-to-paper on a three-year contract at Bloomfield Road, which includes the option of a further year.

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“This is a move that has been in the pipeline for a while and I’m really happy and excited to get going,” Emmerson said.

"I’ve had a good two years at Brighton and I feel like I’ve progressed well.

"Now is the time for a different challenge and Blackpool sounded the perfect fit for me.”

A striker, Emmerson has recently been playing his football for Brighton’s Under-21 side having made the move from Oldham Athletic in 2020.

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Emmerson has yet to make an appearance for BrightonEmmerson has yet to make an appearance for Brighton
Emmerson has yet to make an appearance for Brighton

He made his debut for the Latics in October 2019 at the age of 15, becoming the second youngest footballer in EFL history.

Emmerson was just 28 days older than Reuben Noble-Lazarus when he played for Barnsley against Ipswich in September 2008.

He made three appearances in total during the 2019/20 season.

The forward has also made two appearances for England’s Under-18 side after making his international debut against Wales in September 2021.

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The former Manchester United academy product scored 20 goals in 26 appearances for Brighton’s Under-18 side last season.

Academy Director Ciaran Donnelly added: “Zak is a young player of high calibre that has already represented England at youth level. He is a natural goalscorer who has a tremendous work ethic and he is hungry to play at the highest level.

“Our recruitment team have worked really hard to make this happen, with Paul Murray playing an instrumental role in bringing Zak to Blackpool.

"We are delighted that we’ve been able to attract a young player of Zak’s stature and believe he has an exciting future. We are determined to give him the platform to showcase his ability.”

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Brighton’s former Under-18s coach Mark Beard described Emmerson as a “class player”.

"He's a different type of forward,” he told Sussex Live.

"Because of his size and stature you would think he is a hold-up player but he is not, he is an in-behind player. He probably doesn't have a huge amount of pace but he is so effective.

"He is a goalscorer. He is probably better suited to playing with another forward so I used to play him and Andy Moran together. So if Brighton are only playing one striker up front then I can see why he needs someone with him.

"But he's a class player, he is a good scorer, he has been called up to England Under-18s as well.

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"He needs games for the Under-21s, I think. I know how he is. I think he will be frustrated that he is not playing for them.

"I would say he just has to be patient. I reckon he has outgrown the Under-18s now so the next step is to go up an age group and then maybe going out on loan after that."