Brighton Opinion: Graham Potter would be the ideal replacement for Chris Hughton
Brighton hierarchy pulled the trigger on Hughton on Monday in wake of the club’s 4-1 defeat to Man City in their final Premier League game of the season.
Hughton’s future was always going to be up in the air following a string of unimpressive results this season and the Seagulls decided that the time was right to bid farewell to the Irishman.
The Daily Mail understands that Swansea are keen to keep hold of Potter, who is under contract until 2021, and have reminded Brighton that they would need to pay a £2million compensation to lure the 43-year-old away from the club.
Brighton, on the other hand, are reportedly desperate to appoint a new permanent manager as soon as possible and are pushing hard for a replacement following Hughton’s dismissal on Monday. (h/t Daily Mail)
Brighton were never considered as realistic relegation contenders before the start of the season, and given that the Seagulls showed plenty of promise in their first season in the Premier League under the stewardship of Hughton, few would have expected them to struggle the way they did this time around.
The Seagulls failed to conjure any sort of consistency throughout the campaign and they should consider themselves lucky in the end that the likes of Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield Town didn’t do enough to escape relegation. To sum it up, Brighton could easily have been relegated to the Championship after a horrible Premier League campaign where they looked totally listless and disjointed for large quarters.
Hence, it would be fair to say that they have done the right thing by pulling the trigger on Hughton. He did a wonderful job in getting the club promoted to the Premier League and deserves credit for the team’s performance in the Premier League last season but this season has clearly been a step backwards for the Seagulls. The decision to sack Hughton is a clear indication of the board’s ambitions and their long-term plans to strive for better things in the Premier League.
To put things into perspective, Swansea manager Graham Potter should be an ideal candidate for the job if the Seagulls are really serious about building a strong platform for the future. Potter is someone who likes to take up long-term projects and he has shown in the past that he is very much capable of working under financial constraints. Potter can definitely help Brighton consolidate their Premier League status and eventually build a team which would be capable of challenging for a top-ten finish.
Potter took charge of Swansea City last summer following their relegation from the Premier League and did a good job to guide the club to a 10th-place finish in the Championship this term.
The Swans failed to challenge for promotion this season but one should keep in mind that Potter has been forced to cope with difficult situations and financial troubles, with the departure of 16 players balanced only by 5 arrivals last summer. Still, Swansea have looked good in their first season under Potter and have earned plaudits for their attractive possession-based football in the second-tier.
The 43-year-old rose to prominence as a manager with Swedish club Ostersunds. Potter took charge of Ostersunds back in 2010 when they were languishing in the fourth tier of Swedish football and did a remarkable job to guide the club to three promotions in a spell of five years.
Ostersund progressed by leaps and bounds to make it to the Swedish top-flight for the first time in their history under Potter and they also won the domestic cup to make it to the UEFA Europe League qualifying stages, and eventually to the group stages. It was under Potter’s charismatic stewardship that Ostersund made it to the knockout rounds of the competition and beat Arsenal at the Emirates.
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Ostersunds’ metaphoric rise from the fourth-tier of Swedish football to the Europa League is a clear testament of Potter’s credentials as a manager. Regarded as a modern-day manager, who believes in tactical flexibility and progressive and unconventional coaching methods, Potter would undoubtedly be a wonderful choice for Brighton and Swansea holding up for compensation should not stop the Seagulls from looking at him as a long-term solution.
Scout report of Brighton’s latest £15m signing Leandro Trossard – Will the Seagulls benefit from the move?
Scout report: Brighton’s new signing Leandro Trossard
After days of speculation, Brighton & Hove Albion have finally signed Leandro Trossard for a fee around £15m (h/t Telegraph). This is Graham Potter’s second summer signing after the club managed to swoop in for Portsmouth centre-back Matt Clarke.
As mentioned in the report, the former Belgium U21 international was always attracted at the possibility of playing in the Premier League and enhancing his reputation.
He is also looking forward to playing in an attacking system potentially deployed by the new Brighton boss. (h/t Telegraph)
Thus, expecting some fireworks from the 24-year-old shouldn’t come as a surprise because he has raised his game to an elite level in the past 15-18 months. He scored 22 goals and assisted a further 11 in 47 appearances in all competitions last season.
Below, we will take a look at Trossard’s style of play and how he can be a real key player for Brighton in their forward line:
Player Analysis and scout report – Leandro Trossard
Learning his game at youth level at Bocholt VV and Genk respectively, Leandro Trossard couldn’t really find his feet at the senior level until 2016. He was being loaned out frequently, which prevented him from settling at one place and expressing his game to the world.
However, since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, he has been at the Genk first-team and shown gradual progress in every passing season.
Just before the 16-17 term, he played one full season for Leuven and produced nine goals and seven assists in 31 appearances in all competitions.
Coming back to Genk in 16-17, he managed to score nine goals and provide six assists in 52 appearances in all competitions. At least in terms of playing at one club, the 24-year-old did that and gradually got better.
The following season was a bit of a grind though, as he missed 110 days of action due to a torn muscle injury. For that reason, during the 17-18 campaign, he could only manage to play 19 games in all competitions, scoring eight and assisting four goals.
Now, as mentioned above, he was simply brilliant for Genk throughout the course of last season. Accumulating numbers of 33 direct goal contributions in 47 appearances are fantastic for a player who generally plays on the left wing.
As a matter of fact, Trossard can play as an attacking midfielder behind the striker but he didn’t do that very often in the Belgian league. Hence, we can expect him to play as a left-winger for Brighton too.
In terms of his attributes, the 24-year-old’s pace is incredible to stretch the opposition defence. He’s also adept at dribbling past defenders in wide areas to create space for a shot by cutting inside or delivering an accurate cross.
His key passing is pretty accurate at most times and does manage to make the right decisions in the final third.
Thus, looking at his progress as a player and the number of attributes he possesses, expecting the former Belgian youth international to be a key attacking player for Brighton in the coming seasons won’t be an overstatement.
All in all, we can conclude this piece by saying that the Seagulls have got a gem of a player at just £15m. His game has improved leaps and bounds in the last two years and could go to another level, playing in a competitive environment like the Premier League.
After spending £22.25m to sign this 22-year-old ace, Aston Villa must focus on their £30m pursuit of this defender
Aston Villa Opinion: Wesley Moraes and Lewis Dunk could be the marquee signings that the Lions need to ensure Premier League survival
According to The Sun, Aston Villa have broken their club-record fee by forking out a staggering £22.25 million to complete the signing of Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes, with reports claiming that the 22-year-old is set to pen a five-year deal at Villa Park in the next 24 hours, subject to international clearance and work permit.
The Sun understands that Villa beat off competition from a number of clubs, including Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and Guangzhou Evergrande, as well as Premier League outfits Newcastle United, West Ham and Arsenal, to finally get their hands on the coveted 22-year-old centre-forward.
Moraes was expected to be a hot property in the summer transfer window following his goalscoring heroics for Belgian heavyweights Clube Brugge this past season. The Brazilian registered as many as 17 goals and 10 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions, playing a key role as Clube Brugge finished runners-up to Genk in the Belgian top-flight.
Dean Smith was under pressure to sign an out-and-out centre-forward following the return of star loanee Tammy Abraham to his parent club Chelsea. Abraham netted 26 goals in all competitions this past season to propel the Lions to a promotion-winning campaign in the Championship, as Smith’s men overcame Derby County in the playoff finals at Wembley last month.
Abraham was an ever-present for Villa up front in the Championship but they needed to bring in a like-for-like replacement to cover for his departure and it looks like they have found one in Wesley Moraes. The Brazilian has been compared to former Villa hitman Christian Benteke and Man United striker Romelu Lukaku due to his towering 6ft. 3-inch physique, although he has a bit more flair and a touch of South American elegance to his game.
Noted for his supreme aerial prowess, intelligent movement, poaching instincts and incredible strength, Moraes also has the necessary level of pace, sharpness and agility to taste success at the highest level. The 22-year-old seemingly has all the attributes to fit seamlessly into the style of play prevalent in England and Villa would probably find themselves clear of the relegation zone if he manages to produce even half of what he did in Belgium this season.
Meanwhile, Wesley Moraes is not the only big name to be linked with a move to Villa Park, with Smith also plotting a sensational £30 million swoop for Brighton and Hove Albion and England centre-back Lewis Dunk as a part of his summer spending spree. (h/t Sun)
Dunk’s links with Villa is indicative of the fact that the Lions are looking for an overall squad upgrade in a bid to ensure survival in the Premier League and the towering centre-back is understandably the latest addition to the manager’s wishlist.
Villa have already struck deals for Birmingham City’s Jota, Wolves loanee Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi, whilst having player’s like Matt Targett and Jack Butland on their shortlist. (h/t Sun)
Vulnerability at the back was a major concern for Villa in the earlier stages of this past season in the Championship before the acquisition of Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause on loan in January transformed their backline into one of the most formidable in the division.
They have released players like Mile Jedinak, Alan Hutton and Tommy Elphick, and while that still leaves them with James Chester and Hause as viable options at centre-back, the Lions need to add more Premier League experience to their backline. And Brighton’s Lewis Dunk certainly fits the bill.
The 27-year-old 6ft. 4-inch centre-back is regarded as one of the best defenders outside the big-six in the Premier League and he certainly ticks the box in terms of experience as well, having racked up over 270 appearances for the Seagulls in all competitions over the course of 9 years.
Dunk perfectly combines the virtues of an old-school English centre-back and a modern-day ball-playing defender and it would be fair to say that he has been one of Brighton’s best players since their promotion to the top flight a couple of seasons back.
Villa probably won’t go all out to complete a permanent deal for Mings if they manage to sign Dunk this summer and one can get the feeling that the 27-year-old would be an upgrade on the Bournemouth man.
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Villa have already shown plenty of ambition in the transfer market upon their promotion to the Premier League following a three-year absence and it is a no-brainer that the arrival of marquee signings like Wesley Moraes and Lewis Dunk would go a long way towards securing their future in the top-flight.
Brighton getting their hands on this 23-year-old Rangers star could be the push they need to improve overall gameplay
Brighton Opinion: Glen Kamara could increase competition for places in the Seagulls midfield
According to Daily Record, Rangers star Glen Kamara has been linked with a move to Premier League sider Brighton and Hove Albion, with reports claiming that new Seagulls manager Graham Potter is keen to secure the services of the 23-year-old midfielder.
Kamara is not the only Rangers player to have been linked with a move to the south coast of England, though, with Gers skipper James Tavernier also lined up by Brighton as a potential transfer target. (h/t Daily Record)
Kamara has openly discussed his dream of playing in the Premier League one day, although the Finnish international has also suggested that he is happy to continue playing under Steven Gerrard at Ibrox. (h/t Daily Record)
The 23-year-old, who made his move to Rangers from fellow Scottish Premiership club Dundee United back in January for a paltry £50,000, went on to establish himself as one of the key cogs of Gerrard’s midfield in the second half of this past season.
Kamara made 16 appearances for Rangers in all competitions following his January move to Ibrox and contributed with a goal and 3 assists from a deep position in the midfield.
The Finnish international earned rave reviews for his performances in Rangers’ 2-0 victory over Old Firm Rivals Celtic towards the end of the campaign, further epitomizing his worth as one of the best bargains of the season in the division.
Hence, it is not difficult to see why he has been linked with a return to English football, having initially failed to make an impact at Arsenal earlier in his career.
Born in Tampere, Finland, to parents of Sierre Leone descent, Kamara joined Arsenal at the youth level back in 2012. However, he found regular minutes hard to come by at his boyhood club and went on to make only a solitary first-team appearance for the Gunners in the EFL Cup. Instead, the midfielder spent time on loan at Colchester United and Southend United before venturing north of the border to join Dundee.
Essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Kamara is capable of playing both holding and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park. A strong, tenacious and hardworking midfielder with high levels of stamina, the 23-year-old is noted for his tireless running and uncompromised work-rate, whilst also possessing the range of passing to add stability to the team in the middle of the park.
Kamara combines his good turn of pace with his drive and strength to create space and carry the ball forward with intent, acting as the vital link between the midfield and the forward line. Not only does he excel at winning possession back for his team, but he also has a keen eye for a pass and often manages to break the opposition’s lines with his intelligence.
To put things into perspective, Kamara certainly deserves another chance to prove his worth in the Premier League, having done so well for Rangers and Dundee in the Scottish Premiership.
Despite the massive difference in the quality and intensity of football between the two leagues, one would expect the 23-year-old to gradually make the step up and carve out a reputation for himself in English football.
Brighton luckily managed to beat the drop in the Premier League this past season but the Seagulls will be expected to aim for better things under the stewardship of their new manager Graham Potter, who replaced Chris Hughton at the helm of affairs last month.
The Seagulls are currently not crying out for reinforcements in central midfield, though, with the likes of Davy Propper, Pascal Gross, Yves Bissouma and Dale Stephens in their ranks. Gross and Propper are high-quality central midfielders, and while they didn’t do a lot last season, one would expect them to deliver the goods under Potter next term.
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It remains to be seen whether Kamara proves to be an upgrade on the likes of Stephens and Bissouma but he could certainly increase competition for places and add much-needed depth in a key area of the pitch for the Seagulls. Also, the 23-year-old is unlikely to cost Brighton a fortune, so signing him won’t necessarily drain their transfer budget that much.
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