Brighton and Hove Albion have signed striker Jan Mlakar, from Slovenian Giants Maribor and have immediately loaned him back to the Slovenian side. Jan Mlakar 20, signed a three and a half year deal for the Seagulls, but won’t be able to kick a ball in England this season.

The Seagulls will loan Mlakar back to Maribor for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Brighton development boss David Weir, spoke to the media about the deal. He said Brighton as a club are delighted to have signed Mlakar, he also said that the player has displayed great abilities in his spells at senior sides of football clubs across Europe, and he fits the long term plan of Brighton and Hove Albion.

He went further by saying the player has  more than enough experience required for a footballer of his age, and that he was loaned back to Maribor so he will continue his development, and join them at the start of the 2019/2020 season. He stressed that the player’s progress will be closely monitored as he is now a Brighton property.

Mlakar who has won 14 caps for Slovenia Under-21 side, has a return of 10 goals scored across 20 matches this season. He is set to make his debut for the senior side in April, which means that by the time the European Championships come around in 2020, he will have a great chance of being in the team – and fans can already click here to register their interest in Solvenian football tickets at the tournament.

He started his career at Domzale, in his native country where he played for their youth team before moving to Fiorentina in 2015. He spent most of his time in Fiorentina playing for their youth team, and made only one appearance for the senior side. He was sent on loan to Italian Serie B side Venezia in 2017. He decided to move back to Slovenia in 2018, by signing for Maribor where he has notched 12 goals in 28 appearances. Mlakar has also represented Slovenia’s national team at various youth levels, playing for the under-16s, under-17s, under-19s and under-21s since making his first appearance in 2014.

Brighton will be looking to complement ageing striker and highest goal scorer in the 2018/2019 season Glenn Murray, with the signing of the young Slovenian international Jan Mlakar.