By 90Min
October 07, 2019

Ahead of matchday 8 of the season, the majority of Premier League fans probably knew nothing about Aaron Connolly. 

It's now fair to say that Tottenham found out a lot more about him than they wanted to at the Amex Stadium. The 19-year-old bagged a brace in front of the TV cameras to help Brighton to a convincing 3-0 win over Spurs, thrusting himself into the spotlight in the process.

With that in mind, we here at 90min thought it would be best to bring you up to speed with his career to date - bringing you seven things to know about him...


He Was Scouted by Man Utd During His Youth Career

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If fate had steered in another direction, this weekend could have been an entirely different experience for Connolly.

Instead of turning out for Brighton, he could have been turning out for Manchester United instead - as he was previously scouted by the Red Devils. As it is, he probably will think thank goodness - as he ran the show in a comfortable 3-0 win for the Seagulls, whist United slumped to another miserable defeat - this time at Newcastle.


Goals Have Already Flowed on the International Stage

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Scoring twice on your Premier League debut is a dream for any young player. But such an impact often begs the question; was it a fluke?

Well, in Connolly's case, it would appear not. Playing for Republic of Ireland Under-17s, he netted seven goals in just six qualifying matches for the 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship - leading his side to the tournament as their top scorer.


Now that's an eye for goal.


Brighton Fast-Tracked Him into Their Under-23 Squad

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Connolly made 17 appearances for Brighton Under-18s, scoring three goals. An unremarkable record some may say, but it was enough to see him moved up to the Under-23s for the first time at the age of just 17.

From then on, he has not looked back. In 42 games for the Under-23s, he found the net on a staggering 31 occasions - clearly enough to catch the eye of manager Graham Potter when he took charge in the summer of 2019.


He Endured an Injury Ravaged Loan Spell at Luton

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It has not all been plain-sailing for Connolly, though. Having signed a new contract with Brighton in January 2019, he was sent out on loan to Luton for the rest of the season.

The Hatters were in the midst of a League One title charge, which you would think was ideal surroundings for Connolly to start honing his craft in senior football. However, things went pear shaped as a hamstring injury sidelined him for two months - restricting him to just two appearances as a substitute.

Good things come to those who wait, eh?


He Broke Multiple Goalscoring Records With His Tottenham Brace

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Connolly will forever remember his outing against Spurs, for many various reasons.

Not only did the Seagulls romp to victory, Connolly became the club's youngest ever Premier League goalscorer at the age of just 19 years and 250 days old. He also, by starting the game, became the youngest player to ever start a game for Brighton in the Premier League.


And if that wasn't enough, he added two more feathers to his bow - becoming the 100th player from the Republic of Ireland to score a Premier League goal, as well as becoming the first Irish teenager since Robbie Keane in 1999 to bag a top-flight brace.


Mick McCarthy Likes Him - He's Already Been Called Up to the Full Ireland Squad

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As a reward for his fine form, Connolly earned a first senior Republic of Ireland call-up for the internationals against Georgia and Switzerland.


His progression to the senior ranks has been swift - with an Under-21 goal against China in the famed Toulon Tournament another accolade he can look back and be proud of.

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