Bong couldn't turn down Premier League opportunity

Gaetan Bong celebrates a Brighton goal last season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Gaetan Bong celebrates a Brighton goal last season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

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Gaetan Bong says he couldn't turn down the chance to play in the Premier League with Albion after signing a new contract with the club.

The 29-year-old left-back played 24 matches last season as Brighton finished runners-up in the Championship to get promoted into the top flight of English football.

Bong was out of contract this summer but has now agreed a new one-year deal and said: “I’m very happy to sign a new contract and be with the team. I’d like to thank Chris (Hughton) because he gave me this opportunity, it was my dream to play in the Premier League.

“I could have looked for something else, but I couldn't turn down the chance of playing in the Premier League. We were fighting for two years to arrive there and now I just want to enjoy it with the boys."

Bong also praised Seagulls boss Hughton and said: “I like the manager, he’s a great man and I just want to fight for him and help the club stay in the Premier League.

“He knows I’m always ready to fight. Next season we’ll need to fight and work hard. I’m not somebody who talks too much, I just come in and do my job, and he knows that.

“He knows who I am and he wants to give me a chance to play in the Premier League."

The matches with Chelsea could be two Bong will especially look forward to if Eden Hazard is still with the Blues: “I’m waiting for Eden Hazard. I don’t know if he’ll be at Chelsea, but if he is still there, I’m telling him ‘I’m coming, I’m coming’. He’s a friend and someone I’m used to playing with in France.

“I just want to enjoy playing and have a good game, because it’s the best feeling ever. The Championship is a hard league because you’re playing all the time and it’s physical.

“There are strong teams in the Championship, but the Premier League is another level. I had some big games in the Championship, but there are bigger players in the Premier League and I want to feel that again."

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