Why Brighton signing Youssef En-Nesyri would bolster their attack
Back in 2019, a report from the Daily Mail had mentioned Brighton among the potential suitors for Moroccan international striker Youssef En-Nesyri, who was plying his trade with CD Leganes back then. Premier League rivals West Ham were also understood to be in the race to sign the 23-year-old.
It was even claimed that the Seagulls were hoping to wrap up a deal for a fee of around £18m but negotiations between the clubs failed to reach a positive conclusion. En-Nesyri eventually completed a move to Sevilla in January 2020 and helped the Andalusian club win the Europa League title last season.
Youssef En-Nesyri joined Spanish outfit Malaga in 2015 after starting his footballing education at Mohammed VI Football Academy in Morocco. He made his La Liga debut for Malaga during the 2016-17 season and went on to score 5 goals in 41 appearances over two campaigns before his club was eventually relegated from the top-flight.
The Moroccan then joined Leganes in 2018 and caught the eye with his impressive goalscoring form during the 2018-19 season, netting 11 goals in 34 appearances across all competitions. After adding a further 4 goals in 19 appearances during the first half of the 2019-20 campaign for Leganes, En-Nesyri joined Sevilla in January 2020. (h/t Transfermarkt)
En-Nesyri netted 6 times in 26 appearances towards the latter half of last season as the Andalusian outfit won the Europa League and finished 4th in the La Liga. The towering hitman has hit the ground running with 5 goals in 12 appearances for Sevilla in all competitions so far this term.
The 23-year-old made his senior international debut for Morocco back in 2016 and has earned 34 caps for his nation so far, representing them at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well as in the 2017 and 2019 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. En-Nesyri has already scored in three major international tournaments for Morocco.
En-Nesyri would add more firepower to Brighton’s attack
Brighton have endured a poor start to the season, despite drawing admiring glances for their aesthetic brand of attacking football under Graham Potter. The Seagulls currently sit 16th in the standings with just two wins from their 9 league fixtures so far. The south coast outfit have managed only 13 goals in the PL so far, which clearly points to a lack of end product in front of goal.
Neal Maupay has been a key cog in Brighton’s attack since his move from Brentford in 2019. The Frenchman scored 10 league goals last term and has carried his good form into the ongoing campaign, netting 4 times in 8 PL outings so far. (h/t Transfermarkt)
The Seagulls, though, have lacked significant goal contributions from their other strikers. Aaron Connolly has managed only 4 league goals for the club since the start of last season, despite the young Irishman showing a lot of potential.
Brighton roped in England international Danny Welbeck on a free transfer this summer to bolster their attack. While Welbeck’s addition has certainly handed a boost, Brighton shouldn’t forget that the 29-year-old hasn’t played a lot of football over the past two years due to injuries.
With Jurgen Locadia out on loan and Florin Andone not in the club’s plans, it would be a smart idea to bring in another centre-forward in January to ensure healthy competition for places.
Thus, Brighton reigniting interest in Youssef En-Nesyri would add another dimension to their attack. Standing at 6ft. 2 inches, the Moroccan would offer Graham Potter a much-needed focal point and a physical presence in the Seagulls’ attack.
An overall career tally of 31 goals in 132 appearances can’t really be termed prolific but those aren’t bad returns for a striker aged just 23 and plying his trade in one of the elite leagues in Europe. En-Nesyri has also proven his mettle for Morocco at the international level, which further lies testament to his obvious potential.
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Suffice to say, Brighton should look for more firepower up top when the market reopens in January and making a renewed attempt to sign Youssef En-Nesyri would make a lot of sense in footballing terms. The Moroccan still has his best years ahead of him at 23 and looks capable of sorting out the Seagulls’ goalscoring issues for several seasons moving forward.