Mwepu: Brentford's Thomas Frank on Brighton & Hove Albion player - 'It’s devastating'
- Mwepu was a key player for Brighton and Zambia
- Frank says he understands Mwepu's feelings
- Veltman reveals commitment by Brighton players
WHAT HAPPENED: The 24-year-old Zambia captain was diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition that forced him to retire. He is not available for the Seagulls, the club he joined in the summer of 2021, which is a blow considering the fact that he had established himself as one of their dependable players.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mwepu played six Premier League matches for his team this season and managed to have one assist that came against Leicester City on September 4.
He was set to join Zambia in the international break but fell ill in the process, and has since missed matches against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
WHAT HE SAID: "It is devastating. I know it’s probably not his preferred option, he wants to be a footballer. I don’t know him but, if you’re a footballer at your best age, you want to play football," Frank said as quoted by the club's website.
"I know it’s hard but, on the flip side, the worst-case scenario, we experienced here at the club with Rob [Rowan]. They weren’t aware enough of the heart condition.
"For [Mwepu], it’s fantastic they found out because football is one thing - it’s a beautiful sport and it makes a lot of people happy - but the most important things are to family, friends, and having a good life."
AND WHAT IS MORE: The Brighton players have been encouraging Mwepu and promised to stand with him as revealed by Joel Veltman. "We will be supporting him 100%. We’ve all been messaging him and I’m sure we will see him at the training ground again soon which will be fantastic of course, but we don’t want to put any pressure on him," the Dutch defender told the club's media team.
"We need to let him take his time and adjust but when he needs us we will be there for him."
IN TWO PICTURES:
WHAT NEXT: Brighton will play Brentford on Friday in the Premier League at the Gtech Community Stadium in Middlesex. The Seagulls are currently seventh on the table and three points will push them to fourth pending this weekend's results. Their opponent are on 10 points and 11th on the table and a win will put them a position behind Brighton.