Brighton preview: Challenge awaits Premier League rookie Graham Potter

After the sacking of Chris Houghton, Brighton and Hove Albion has got in Graham Potter to steer the ship in the new Premier League season.

Winger Leandro Trossard was among Brighton's big money signings in the off-season.   -  GETTY IMAGES

After surviving relegation with a scrappy 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the penultimate match of last season, the Seagulls have roped in a promising manager in the form of Graham Potter from Welsh side Swansea City.

Club icon Bruno hung up his boots last season leaving a huge hole in defence. Brighton brought in Matthew Clarke from Portsmouth before sending him on loan before pre-season even began. The East Sussex side also lost French winger Anthony Knockaert to Fulham, who was key to its promotion two seasons ago.

Following the big departures, Brighton made some smart choices in replacing the key positions which would also suit Potter’s bold vision of playing a three-man defence. In came Bristol City’s Adam Webster for a club record fee, whose defensive contributions helped the Championship side finish 11th last season.

Manchester City youth product Taylor Richards could also prove to be a value addition in the midfield after a brilliant performance in a 2-1 win against Spanish club Valencia in a pre-season friendly.

Potter’s big plans for the defensive setup did not take away the focus from other areas as the club brought in Championship joint-second scorer Neal Maupay for a reported £20 million while Belgian winger Leandro Trossard has been brought for a similar amount from KRC Genk.

The Seagulls will travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford for the Premier League opener.

Player to watch out for - Neal Maupay

The 22-year old former St. Etienne winger was highly sought after by multiple English clubs including Aston Villa and Sheffield United but the Frenchman chose Brentford in the end. His development was rapid at Griffin Park. Maupay was the second-joint top scorer in the EFL with 25 goals in 43 games as Brentford finished 11th. His performances also won him the EFL's Player of the Season, voted by players and fans. A strong left foot, superiority in one-on-one situations and raw pace make Maupay one of the exciting talents in Europe.

Brighton and Hove Albion's transfer activity

IN: Matt Clarke (£3.5m, Portsmouth), Leandro Trossard (£15m, Genk), Adam Webster (£20m, Bristol City), Neal Maupay (£20m, Brentford)
OUT: Alex Mateju (nominal, Brescia), Richie Towell (free, Salford), Ben Barclay (free, Accrington), Julien Carre (free, Brentford), William Collar (free, Hamilton Academical), Billy Collings (free, Lewes), Josh Kerr (free, Airdrieonians), Alexis Mac Allister (loan, Boca Juniors), Ben White (loan, Leeds), Anthony Knockaert (loan, Fulham), Christian Walton (loan, Blackburn), Jan Mlakar (loan, QPR), Billy Arce (loan, Barcelona SC), Viktor Gyokeres (loan, FC St Pauli), Percy Tau (loan, Club Brugge), Markus Suttner (loan, Fortuna Dusseldorf), Matt Clarke (loan, Derby), Leo Skiri Ostigadd (loan, FC Pauli), Jason Molumby (loan, Millwall), Robert Sanchez (loan, Rochdale), Phillip Barclay, Ben Hall, Stefan Ljubicic, Owen Moore, Joe Tomlinson (all released), Bruno (retired)

 

Premier League fixtures

August

10 - Watford vs Brighton

17 - Brighton vs West Ham United

24 - Brighton vs Southampton

31 - Manchester City vs Brighton

September

14 - Brighton vs Burnley

21 - Newcastle United vs Brighton

28 - Chelsea vs Brighton

October

5 - Brighton vs Tottenham Hotspur

19 - Aston Villa vs Brighton

26 - Brighton vs Everton

November

2 - Brighton vs Norwich City

9 - Manchester United vs Brighton

23 - Brighton vs Leicester City

30 - Liverpool vs Brighton

December

4 - Arsenal vs 4 Brighton

7 - Brighton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)

14 - Crystal Palace vs Brighton

21 Brighton vs Sheffield United

26 - Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton

28 - Brighton vs AFC Bournemouth

January

1 -Brighton vs Chelsea

11 - Everton vs Brighton

18 - Brighton vs Aston Villa (H)

22 - AFC Bournemouth vs Brighton

February

1 - West Ham United vs Brighton

8 - Brighton vs Watford

22 - Sheffield United vs Brighton

29 - Brighton vs Crystal Palace

March

7 - Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Brighton

14 - Brighton vs Arsenal

21 - Brighton vs Leicester City

April

4 - Brighton vs Manchester United

11 - Norwich City vs Brighton

18 - Brighton vs Liverpool

25 -  Brighton vs Manchester City

May

2 - Southampton vs Brighton

9 - Brighton vs Newcastle United

17 - Burnley vs Brighton