Union SG chief Chris O’Loughlin has insisted Brighton and Hove Albion forward Kaoru Mitoma was not ‘forced’ on them by their Premier League counterparts this summer.

Mitoma joined Brighton from Kawasaki Frontale in a £2.7m deal in the summer, but his inability to get a work permit meant they were forced to sent him out on loan for the time being.

They elected to send him to sister club Union, a club where they’ve enjoyed success before with Percy Tau.

So far, the move has been a smart one for Brighton and the player, with Mitoma establishing himself as the star of the show with four goals and one assists in six games so far.

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The appearance is that Union have come off well in a transfer they had little say on, but O’Loughlin insists that isn’t the case.

“I stress that we chose Mitoma ourselves,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.

“He was not forced on us by Brighton. We were looking for a player like that, and Brighton had someone with the perfect profile: speed, depth…

“Mitoma also chose us after a talk with the coach and a tour. Administratively we are two separate clubs.”

The key for Mitoma now is to keep up this form and get himself back to Brighton when work permit rules are out of the way.

He’s certainly on his way to doing that with his current numbers, which have earned him praise ‘all over Belgium’ and caused ‘Mitomania’ at his current club.

Four goals in 174 minutes, plus an assist, means he has been ‘decisive’ every 34 minutes he’s played so far, a total that makes him the most ‘efficient’ player in the Jupiler Pro League.

His ‘dream’ is to play in the Premier League or Bundesliga and become an international, something he is seemingly on the way to doing sooner rather than later.