SOUTHEND United have signed goalkeeper Christian Walton on an emergency loan deal from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Shrimpers shot-stopper Ted Smith suffered an arm injury in training on Friday.

And, with Mark Oxley also on the sidelines, Blues boss Phil Brown acted quickly to bring in the 21-year-old.

"With our extensive scouting system, we managed to acquire talented Christian Walton from Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion,” said Brown.

"After getting the results from Ted's scan, we expect him to be out for around seven to 10 days.”

Walton made 33 appearances while on loan at Luton Town last season and has represented England at under 21 level.

The shot-stopper will go straight into the starting line-up against Oldham Athletic this afternoon and has joined for an initial seven days.

The Shrimpers can apply to the Football League to extend Walton’s loan in further seven-day slots if Smith’s comeback is delayed.