I think I speak for most Town fans when I say it felt a bit weird seeing Izzy Brown lining up for Brighton against us yesterday.
Whilst not everything is known about why he couldn’t re-sign for us on loan or permanently for the start of this Premier League season, Town fans rightly gave him an incredibly warm reception before the start of the game.
Still, there was a tinge of sadness in the air and perhaps regret had things gone differently.
In the context of the game, thankfully, Izzy had one of his quietest games for Brighton. After a 3 month lay-off, Izzy was making one of his first starts of the season for the Seagulls.
However, Tommy Smith marshalled him excellently and was ably assisted by Chris Schindler and Jonathan Hogg.
By doubling up and even tripling up, they dispossessed Izzy Brown before he could cause any real damage to our back-line.
He also looked completely wasted on the left-wing in an orthodox 4 man midfield.
We as Town fans know he is much better suited on the left-wing in a 4-2-3-1 formation or as a traditional trequartista or ‘number 10’.
From a fans’ perspective, it just felt great to see him play again.
Football fans have short memories but I think all Town fans will cherish the memories Izzy gave us. He scored pivotal goals in important games in our dream promotion season and embraced everything about the club from the first day he signed.
It wasn’t just the goal against Leeds that will stay with me for a long time but the goal against Wolves as well.
As the years go on, that goal might end up being one of the most important in our history. It was the goal that secured our play-off place and thus set off a chain of events none of us are ever likely to forget.
When Izzy came off, the whole stadium rose to applaud him.
Unlike the standing ovation we gave to Tottenham’s Harry Kane, this ovation was steeped in emotion rather than pure appreciation.
Town fans joined in Brighton’s chants praising him and it was a nice touch to compliment a well-deserved victory.
Izzy Brown gave everything to our club in the short time he was with us and I think most Town fans would love to see him back in the blue and white stripes next season.
Whether David Wagner will want to secure his services again and whether Chelsea will allow him to leave again will ultimately be what decides his fate, not our fan-base pining for his return.