Our next article takes us to one of newer clubs to enjoy the top flight of English football, Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls, who have been in the Premier League since 2017, have had a turbulent history. The club didn’t have an actual home stadium for almost 15 years! Their new stadium shows their aspirations of success, with the Amex Community Stadium being a gorgeous amphitheater for modern-day footballers.

Credit: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency

Brighton’s 2018/19 season was pretty shaky. Having been guaranteed safety on the penultimate matchday, they will once again compete in the top flight. They finished 17th under Chris Hughton, who has since lost his position to Graham Potter. The Seagulls left a lot to be desired, with many of their high profile signings vastly underperforming.

The club scored 35 goals while conceding 60, which is alarming for any club trying to stay up. The team itself is held together by two remarkable center backs, Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk, Matt Ryan between the sticks, and an old Glenn Murray leading the line. The new signings, such as Romanian striker Florian Andone, were dreadful. Alireza Jahanbakhsh had 0 goals or assists after scoring 21 in the Netherlands the season prior.

So Graham Potter has a tall task ahead. Having signed Matt Clarke from Portsmouth and Leandro Trossard from Genk, the club is hoping for some fresh legs to motivate the squad. Hopefully, Potter doesn’t make the same mistakes as Hughton did, such as playing Gaetan Bong ahead of Bernardo at Left Back. Bong managed 16 tackles, far behind Bernardo’s 62, as well as 55 duels won to Bernardo’s 143.

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Another issue is Pascal Gross’ underperformances last season. Seven goals his debut season, as well as eight assists in 2017/18, has dropped to three goals and three assists in the 2018/19 campaign. If Potter can get everyone performing at a high level, they may have a chance to stay up.

The issues with Brighton come from an old English mentality of Football. Very rigid in shape, disciplined, and hard to break down, offering little other than knocking it forward to a big Center Forward who can hold up play. Brighton needs to be more forward-thinking, especially with players like Pascal Gross, Solly March and, Anthony Knockaert going forward.

Of course, they need to have quality and consistency going forward, which was lacking last season. The defense conceded 60 goals, which partially comes from old, slower Fullbacks. Bruno, the 39-year-old Right Back, has retired and Gaetan Bong should be losing his place to Bernardo.

Brighton needs to find a motivated Center Forward to score the goals. The best way to do this is to look at the top six clubs and see who would have any viable options for a loan. Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi are both at Chelsea. Both are hungry for 1st team Football, know how to find the back of the net, and could be a good, but pricey loan option. Another option could be Danny Welbeck, who would cost the club nothing but wages to sign, as he is a free agent. He is a massive gamble but has shown brief glimpses of talent in the past.

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The upcoming season will be a tough one for the Seagulls. There are some industrious players in the side, but if they don’t show any improvement from last season, the club will be in trouble. Hiring a manager who finished 10th place in the Championship with Swansea is also a concern. Brighton isn’t going to spend a lot of money this season and is going to try to maintain some sort of rigidity. I think they will be relegated this season. So far this summer they haven’t made any significant moves, but the summer is still just getting started.

I think they will finish 19th, suffering relegation simply because they won’t find the goals nor be able to string together any serious momentum. They need to make the Amex a fortress for visiting sides, score more goals, and hope they have no serious injuries to the back four.

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