Enock Mwepu’s retirement is being gutted and the Brighton star is beginning to shine, but at least one heart problem was found before tragedy struck

IT IS never nice to see a player retire before it is due.

In the case of Enock Mwepu, who was forced to retire at just 24 after being diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition, there is salvation that the problem was recognized before anything truly tragic happened.

Bright announced this morning the news of the sad retirement of Enock Mwepu

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Bright announced this morning the news of the sad retirement of Enock MwepuRecognition:
Mwepu was slowly becoming a fan favorite on the Amex

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Mwepu was slowly becoming a fan favorite on the AmexPhoto credit: Getty

Health must come first for any player and Brighton have worked quickly to find a diagnosis and will offer any support the midfielder can offer.

But there will always be a sense of what could have been.

It was felt that Mwepu, nicknamed ‘The Computer’ for his ability to read a game faster than most opponents on the pitch, would finally find momentum as a Brighton player this season.

Injuries limited the Zambian, who joined from RB Salzburg in July last year, to just 14 starts from a potential 44 Premier League games in his Seagulls career.

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But things changed at the start of this campaign.

After Yves Bissouma joined Tottenham in the summer, Mwepu was given a more prominent role in midfield and began to show what he could bring.

A smart player who loves to make a difference in the future – just like childhood hero Steven Gerrard – Mwepu provided an example of what he was about in his last appearance for Brighton.

At home against Leicester City, in Graham Potter’s last game in charge, Mwepu caught James Maddison square in his own half and the computer started whirring.

The former RB Salzburg man quickly spun into a gap behind the Foxes midfielder, spread his legs and charged forward, causing Jonny Evans to go into reverse.

After pulling Leicester defenders towards him on the edge of the box, Mwepu shuffled the ball sideways to Moises Caicedo, now unmarked, to fire home.

Scanning footage of the Mwepu, new manager Roberto De Zerbi knew he had a talent on his hands.

The Italian said today: “I’m so sorry for Enock.

“Before I arrived I looked at the whole squad and he was a player I was so excited and looking forward to.”

It was a sign that Mwepu was ready to be the main man in midfield – an opportunity so cruelly taken away.

There are other magical memories too.

His stunning first goal that sparked a Liverpool comeback and secured a 2-2 draw will never be forgotten on the south coast.

Seagulls fan Scott McCarthy of WeAreBrighton.com said: “The sadness following the announcement shows the appreciation shown to Mwepu.

“In just over a season, he had become a hugely popular player for both his on-pitch ability and off-pitch personality.

“It’s the potential that Mwepu had that ends his career particularly cruelly in such circumstances. Brighton fans only saw a glimpse of what Mwepu could do.

“He had the world at his feet and would only get better as he adapted to the unique demands of the Premier League.”

Mwepu intends to stay in football in a way. There could well be a role for him on The Amex in the future.

Whatever happens, in just over a year on the south coast, Mwepu has certainly made its mark.

He leaves a slew of memories with fans but what remains is the loss of a Premier League dream that was just getting started.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6408261/enock-mwepu-heart-issue-brighton/ Enock Mwepu’s retirement is being gutted and the Brighton star is beginning to shine, but at least one heart problem was found before tragedy struck

ClareFora

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