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Fulham have agreed a deal with Brighton and Hove Albion to take defensive midfielder Rohan Ince on a season-long loan.

The 23 year-old, who was born in Whitechapel, spent ten years with Chelsea before leaving our London neighbours permanently in February 2013 following a successful trial with the Seagulls. Ince, who had previously enjoyed a loan spell at Yeovil, quickly became a firm favourite at the AmEX Stadium, with his pace and tough-tackling ability. He helped Albion reach the play-offs, making 33 appearances and winning the club’s Young Player of the Year award. He made 38 appearances for the club last season and his stunning strike in a League Cup victory over Swindon Town was named Brighton’s goal of the year.

A combination of injuries and Brighton’s excellent form limited Ince, who is the third cousin of former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul, to just ten league appearances during this campaign and he has opted to return to the capital in search of first team football. Fulham’s holding options in midfield have been restricted by injuries to Ryan Tunnicliffe and Sakari Matilla and head coach Slavisa Jokanovic is expected to put his new signing straight into the first-team squad for Saturday’s game against Derby County.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has been speaking about the deal:

After two seasons in which he has been a regular in the side, Rohan has found first-team opportunities limited this season, with Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal in such fine form, and also now following the arrival of Steve Sidwell. 

At his age and the stage he is at in his career, we want to see him playing regular football, and this loan move gives him the chance to do that in the Championship. It’s a good move for Rohan and both clubs, as it is one which will allow him to continue the progress he has made in recent seasons.