Brighton & Hove Albion have entered the transfer chase for Fleetwood Town winger Paddy Lane, The Sun have reported. The 21-year-old excelled in his first season in full-time football, having signed for the Cod Army last summer from non-league Manchester-based side Hyde United. Lane notched five goals and eight assists in 37 League One outings last season, before being subsequently named the third tier’s Young Player of the Year for his efforts. His performances have not gone unnoticed, with both Cardiff City and West Ham United being linked earlier in the summer with a move for the versatile wide-man, who can also operate as a wing-back and an attacking midfielder.

More recently, it has been Stoke City credited with an interest in Lane, but they could be gazumped in any potential battle by Brighton. The Seagulls are weighing up an approach for Lane, who has two caps to his name for the Northern Ireland senior side and is valued at £2 million by Fleetwood. Lane is currently under contract at Highbury until the summer of 2024, with Fleetwood tying him down to an improved deal back in December just months after his debut.

It has been a remarkable rise for Lane, who went from playing in the seventh tier of English football to being a fully-capped international within 12 months. Despite Fleetwood being one of the smaller clubs in League One, it speaks volumes that his performances were noticed enough to win a top accolade that was Young Player of the Year for the entire division. Lane is a player that can make something out of nothing, and the Cod Army may be bracing for his departure, and that could be why they’ve made a bid for Cole Stockton – an entirely different position but he would cost money.

Even though Lane is a senior international now, it’s unlikely that he would head straight into the Brighton first-team – if they were to make a move then a Championship loan move could be extremely viable. Crouch has urged Stoke City to pounce on the deal.

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