Seagulls' boss compares Virgo to Ronaldo

EX-Colchester United defender, Adam Virgo, has been compared to Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.It was Brighton & Hove Albion chairman, Dick Knight, who made this intriguing comparison, although he was referring to transfer speculation rather than footballing prowess on the pitch.

Carl Marston

EX-Colchester United defender, Adam Virgo, has been compared to Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was Brighton & Hove Albion chairman, Dick Knight, who made this intriguing comparison, although he was referring to transfer speculation rather than footballing prowess on the pitch.

Virgo spent last season on loan at Colchester, from Scottish Premier League champions Celtic, but yesterday the 25-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal at Brighton.

The EADT first reported that Virgo was set to sign for his old club - he began his career as an apprentice with Seagulls - three weeks ago. Terms have since been thrashed out.

Virgo was one of seven players released by the U's at the end of last season. The others were fellow loanee Bela Balogh, youngsters Tom Webb and Tom Devaux, midfielders Luke Guttridge and Kevin Watson, and defender Danny Granville.

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Also leaving United during the close-season have been skipper Karl Duguid, who signed for Plymouth last week, and Kevin McLeod, who is another to have moved to Brighton. In addition, both Teddy Sheringham and Aidan Davison announced their retirement at the end of last term.

Seagulls chairman Knight said: “Second to Ronaldo's proposed move to Real Madrid, it is perhaps the worst kept secret in football that the club (Brighton) was keen to re-sign Adam.”

Brighton manager Micky Adams was a key figure in the move. It was Adams who gave Virgo his senior debut seven years ago, and he later signed him on loan from Celtic while he was the boss at Coventry, in addition to working with the defender while he was the assistant manager at Colchester during the first half of last season.

Virgo joined Celtic from Brighton in a £1.5m deal in 2005, but he never really established himself in Scotland. He was released from the final year of his four-year contract this summer, after making 37 appearances for the U's during a season-long loan.

“It feels fantastic to be coming home. Now I can't wait to get started,” enthused Virgo.

“There were other offers on the table, but at this stage of my career I need to be playing regular football. I feel that Albion are a Championship club in waiting.”

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