Brighton & Hove Albion have signed young defender Ben Hall from Motherwell for an undisclosed fee.
The 19-year-old centre-half, who hails from Northern Ireland, has signed a two-year deal with the club and will initially link up with Simon Rusk’s under-21 squad. Hall was managed by former Seagulls boss Mark McGhee at Motherwell.
Albion manager Chris Hughton said: “Ben is an excellent young prospect and he made his breakthrough into the first team at Motherwell in the second half of last season.
“For Ben, his challenge is not only to progress but to be ready to make that step up into the first-team squad. With no option of short-term loans, that is the challenge for each and every member of our under-21 squad.
“They need to be ready mentally and physically to make that step up at any point in the season, as should we have an injury or suspension, that’s where we will need to draw our cover from.
“While Connor Goldson had that bit more experience when he arrived last summer, his rapid progression in the second half of last season proves just how quickly players can and will progress at this club.
“A regular in the under-21s during the first half of the season, he was ready and grabbed his chance with both hands; he kept our captain and a current international out of the team, and deservedly won Young Player of the Season.”
Rusk added: “Ben is a highly-rated young central defender, and was a regular for Motherwell in the second half of last season, playing 19 times for their first team.
“He’s a good athlete and footballer, but first and foremost a good defender. He has had that grounding of playing senior football in the Scottish Premier League with Motherwell.
“He will begin the season with our under-21 squad, but his challenge, along with the others, is to push on and progress into our first-team squad.”
Hall is a current Northern Ireland under-19 international - and has represented his country from under-16 upwards.
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