By Wayne Veysey

16th Dec, 2020 | 4:51pm

Exclusive: Brighton axe senior star v Fulham to throw future into doubt

Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan has been axed from the team for tonight’s Premier League clash against Fulham, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The 28-year-old has started 11 of the Seagull’s 12 league matches this season, missing out only for the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham on 1 November.

But a Brighton source has told Football Insider that manager Graham Potter has decided to leave Ryan out of the line-up for the 8pm kick-off at Craven Cottage.

He is likely to turn to Robert Sanchez, 23, in goal for the clash that will pit the 16th and 18th placed sides against one another.

Jason Steele has been on the bench for 11 of Brighton’s 12 league matches this season and started all three of their EFL Cup clashes earlier in the campaign.

But it was Sanchez who was given the nod to start against Spurs last month when Ryan was last left out.

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The number one’s omission will throw his future into doubt ahead of the opening of the January transfer window.

Given it is the second time that Potter has axed him, it suggests he could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

Ryan has been the number one at Brighton since signing from Valencia in 2017 for £5.4million.

He has made 123 appearances for the club in all competitions, conceding 185 goals and keeping 27 clean sheets.

Ryan has let in 19 goals in his 11 Premier League matches this season, including three against Leicester City last weekend.

In other news, Brighton are battling Southampton to sign ‘the next Ollie Watkins’ in January.