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Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton should beat Crystal Palace’s £10m bid for this talented 19-year-old full-back – Here is why

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Brighton Opinion: Reece James can be a wonderful signing for Brighton

According to the Sun, Crystal Palace are lining up a £10 million bid for Chelsea starlet Reece James in the summer, with Brighton and Hove Albion also interested in acquiring the services of the English youth international.

The same report claims that Palace want James as a potential replacement at right-back for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has caught the eyes of some of the top clubs in England and abroad with his stellar performances.

James has starred on loan at Wigan Athletic in the Championship this season and has earned rave reviews for his aggressive style of football. The 19-year-old has established himself as one of the best in his position, accumulating a goal and a couple of assists from 36 appearances in the league.

Those stats aren’t flattering, but in all honesty, he could have bagged a lot more goals and assists had he played for a top-quality side. As a matter of fact, the Chelsea starlet has claimed five man-of-the-match awards in the Championship so far, which speaks volumes of his talent.

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While James would definitely be a good replacement for Wan-Bissaka at Selhurst Park, a move to Brighton would also help him further his development.

The Seagulls might have to wave a final goodbye to 38-year-old Bruno Saltor, who is likely to hang up his boots at the end of the campaign.

And Bruno’s departure is likely to render Chris Hughton short of quality cover at right-back, with Martin Montoya being the only other viable option in that position.

Leon Balogun is also capable of operating as a full-back but the Nigerian hasn’t been convincing enough with his displays at the back this term.

To put things into perspective, Brighton would bag a massive coup by beating Palace to sign Reece James from Chelsea as he is a player with immense potential who can establish himself as a useful long-term servant at the Amex Stadium.

Youngsters like Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and many more haven’t had much luck at Stamford Bridge and the prospect of playing regular first-team football for a mid-table club in the Premier League should appeal to the player.

Brighton have some quality players in their ranks and they should look to add a few more to their squad in the summer. The Seagulls have endured a patchy and inconsistent campaign this time around but they should aim for a top-ten finish next term.

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A modern-day offensive-minded full-back with well-rounded defensive and attacking attributes, James has all the makings of developing into a future star.

He is already a proven performer at the Championship level, and given his vast potential and meteoric development, one can expect him to adapt to the Premier League pretty soon.

Blessed with blistering pace and quick feet, James is not only a wonderful crosser from the wide areas but he is equally adept at beating the opposition with his dribbling skills.

A player with high levels of stamina, he patrols up and down the pitch and seldom runs out of steam.

The 19-year-old has a good eye for a pass and also excels with his game-reading and tackling skills. Furthermore, he is a set-piece specialist who has the ability to create chances with his accurate deliveries into the box.

James has averaged 2.1 tackles, 2.1 clearances, 0.9 interceptions, 1.6 key passes, 1 dribble, 1.6 crosses and 2.7 accurate long balls per game in the Championship this term, figures which are really impressive for a 19-year-old.

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Suffice to say, the acquisition of James can prove be a huge boost for Brighton in their pursuit of a top-ten finish next term and the Seagulls should not hesitate to splash the cash on him in the summer.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Burnley would bag a massive coup by hijacking Arsenal’s move for this 24-year-old English ace and here is why

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Burnley Opinion: Why the Clarets should beat Arsenal to sign Solly March?

According to a report from TEAMtalk, Arsenal are interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion winger Solly March.

The Englishman, 24, has impressed in Brighton colours this season, starting 26 games. He was instrumental off the bench as the Seagulls came from two goals down to beat Millwall in the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend, scoring a last-gasp equaliser from a free-kick.

The report adds Arsenal scouts are impressed with Solly March and believe the skilful winger could make an immediate mark at Arsenal next season should the move materialise.

While March could be the winger the Gunners desperately lack in their ranks, Burnley should look to hijack Arsenal’s move for the Brighton attacker as Sean Dyche’s side are also in need of a versatile winger.

Burnley have endured a torrid campaign and lie just two points above the relegation zone in the 17th position.

They are on a run of four consecutive defeats at the moment that has piled a lot of pressure on Dyche of late. Dyche has a job in his hand to secure the Clarets’ top-flight status and in the summer look to reinforce his squad.

A winger has to be at the top of Dyche’s list, considering the lack of options he has in the wide department.

At the moment, the Burnley tactician has Robbie Brady, Aaron Lennon, Dwight McNeil and Johann Gudmundsson at his disposal. Brady spent three quarters of 2018 on the sidelines, while Lennon will turn 32 next month. McNeil has been a shining light in a difficult season for the Clarets, making the most of chances given by Dyche.

Adding a player like March would go a long way to solve Burnley’s problems in the wide department. The versatile attacker will add some much-needed pace, energy and unpredictability to the Clarets’ play in the final third.

Burnley have lacked real guile and creativity to unlock defences for the most part of the season.

A player in the mould of March would help to do that, whilst providing a tinge of flair when required. The former England U21 international is also highly versatile and can operate in multiple positions across the frontline.

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He primarily plays as a left winger but is also capable of playing on the right or in the hole behind the striker.

Conclusion

The potential acquisition of March will undoubtedly bolster Dyche’s attacking options at the Turf Moor. March has plenty of pace to burn and is a very productive dribbler with the ball at his feet. His work ethic and eagerness to help his team defensively makes him a perfect fit for Burnley.

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Arsenal

Arsenal should leave no stone unturned in signing this 24-year-old trickster to solve right-wing conundrum

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Arsenal FC Opinion: Emery should move for Brighton’s Solly March

According to TEAMtalk, Arsenal are interested in signing Solly March in the summer, with reports claiming that the 24-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion winger has impressed the scouts with his consistent displays over the course of the season.

March has been in terrific form for the Seagulls after penning a contract extension at the Amex last summer, accumulating a goal and 5 assists from 28 appearances in the Premier League this season.

The former England U21 international has emerged as one of Chris Hughton’s trusted lieutenants in the midfield, with the manager deploying the player on either flank and also through the centre in an attacking midfield role.

March scored Brighton’s late equaliser against Millwall in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup last week and also netted from in the shootout to help the Seagulls make it to the last four.

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A youth product of non-league club Lewes, March joined Brighton at the youth level in 2011 and made his senior bow in the Championship in the 2013-14 season. Since then, he has proven himself to be an excellent servant to the club, registering 11 goals and 17 assists from 155 appearances across all competitions.

Essentially a left-winger by trade, March is a tactically-versatile attacker who is capable of playing on either flank and through the centre in a No.10 role.

Blessed with a sound technique and a sweet left foot, March is known for his pace, sharpness, agility and dribbling, whilst also possessing appreciable game-reading abilities and awareness.

To go with his obvious flair and trickery on the ball, March often gets the perfect weight and elevation on his crosses to create chances from the wide areas.

The Englishman also has a keen eye for a pass, makes surging runs into the penalty area and always looks to put his left foot through the ball from outside the box.

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March has also made an impact at Brighton with his defensive contribution, high levels of energy and uncompromised work-rate, often chipping in with tackles and interceptions to help out the full-backs. He keeps patrolling up and down the pitch and never runs out of steam.

To put things into perspective, the Arsenal fans might not be over the moon on hearing the news of the club’s links with Solly March but the versatile and energetic winger might turn out to be an important squad player at the Emirates.

The Gunners need to invest in the summer to bolster their wide options and they are probably not going to make Denis Suarez’s stay permanent, with the Spaniard struggling to cope with the physical nature of the Premier League.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has blown hot and cold down the right, and while Unai Emery has Alex Iwobi as an option down the left, someone like March can add to squad depth and also increase competition for places in the first team.

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Emery has often gone in with a 4-2-3-1 formation and he might as well stick to that next season, which would require adequate depth in the wide options.

March has the tactical intelligence, well-rounded attacking and defensive attributes and the energy to play a big role in Emery’s system and, that said, he could prove to be a bargain for the Gunners.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton’s best bet to replace Murray would be to sign any of these 3 powerful strikers – agreed?

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Brighton and Hove Albion Opinion: 3 strikers to take over from Murray

Brighton and Hove Albion are a well-coached side and are capable of pulling off the odd surprising result because of the quality they possess in the midfield in players like Pascal Gross and Anthony Knockaert.

Chris Hughton has managed to build a fairly strong team with good players all around. Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk – the two main centre-halves – have been exceptional this season, contributing with goals as well.

The way they are set up, all of the goalscoring headache falls on their main striker, 35-year-old Englishman Glenn Murray. He has been their most influential player this season by a fairly large distance.

The former Crystal Palace and Bournemouth man has been in excellent form for the Seagulls all campaign, scoring an impressive 11 goals. If it were not for his goals, Brighton would definitely be struggling around the relegation zone.

Considering that the Englishman is obviously nearing the end of his career, here are three alternatives Brighton could bring in during the summer window to replace him:

Takumi Minamino

This Japanese star currently plays for Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga and has been turning heads for a while now with his excellent goalscoring instincts. Speedy and tricky on the ball, Minamino has the potential to rip Premier League defences to shreds.

The 24-year-old has scored 11 goals and got a further 5 assists from his 32 appearances for the Austrian club in all competitions this term. He can be the perfect player for this side as he would add a new life to the Brighton attack.

Riad Bajic

This Bosnian international forward can be likened to former Manchester City man Edin Dzeko because of their similar skill-set and styles of play. Bajic is a talented frontman who is a massive threat from crosses and set-pieces because of height and heading ability.

Currently a member of the Basaksehir outfit in the Turkish Super Lig, the 24-year-old has got just 4 goals from his 16 league appearances this season. A move to Brighton could be the quickest way for him to fix his attacking numbers.

Julio Furch

This Argentine striker is having an extremely prolific season in front of the goal and could be a surefire fix to replace the ageing Glenn Murray. Currently playing for Liga MX club Santos Laguna, the tall forward is an excellent finisher.

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His powerful heading and precise passing abilities will make him a good fit for this Brighton side. His recorded numbers this season are 18 goals from 32 games in all competitions, thus proving the player’s immense quality.

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