Brighton and Hove Albion lost three of their key players in this year’s summer transfer window: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea), and Neal Maupay (Everton). It was a window that pocketed the Seagulls over £100 million but did leave some pondering whether the club might have found themselves slipping down the table with half of last season’s spine departing. Instead, Brighton find themselves with four wins from their first five games, nestled in the top four and with most of the football world purring at how they’ve orchestrated things. Check out SinkorSwimSports as we run through what makes Brighton so good, and just how high the Seagulls can climb this season.
- Leandro Trossard Stats and Premier League Career
- Brighton 4-0 Man United: How The Seagulls Demolished Cristiano and co.
Plenty To Build On
Ever since the appointment of Graham Potter in 2019, Brighton have quietly been building a side with a set way of playing. Opposed to the pragmatism of Chris Hughton, Potter arrived with the intention of producing the sleek, ambitious style of play the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City had experienced during his days with Ostersunds and Swansea.
The average age of the squad was reduced, the possession stats began to climb and Brighton began to demonstrate a newfound ambition away from home, beating Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City during his first two seasons at the helm.
Potter led Brighton to their record points tally (41) in his first two seasons, before breaking their glass ceiling during the 2021/22 campaign.
A Historic Campaign
Brighton kicked off their 2021/22 Premier League campaign with four wins from their opening five games, nestling themselves in the top four up until matchday 9. They would then only win twice between the 27th of September and the 12th of February, though this run did also include draws against Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham and Chelsea (twice).
However, starting with back-to-backs away at Arsenal and Spurs, the Seagulls ended the 2021/22 season in spectacular fashion. With Graham Potter instilling a new system that revolved around a stacked midfield and energetic inverted wingbacks, Brighton won five of their final eight games. The Seagulls scored 16 times during that run, including four in their demolition of Man United at the Amex.
The Seagulls didn’t lose a single match against any side from London over the campaign and closed the season by smashing their record points tally (51) and with a 9th place finish.
Brighton 2021/22 Premier League Record
Goals For: 42
Goals Against: 44
Biggest Win: Brighton 4-0 Man United (7 May 2022)
Brighton are a club that understands contemporary football revolves around roles and responsibilities, rather than individuals and positions. Any current or former professional who has worked with Graham Potter will talk about the systems he masterminds, with figures like Newcastle’s Dan Burn claiming that ‘any player’ can look good when dropped into it.
This eases the burden on the side when it comes to losing talents like Marc Cucurella or Yves Bissouma, with the players being dropped into the gaps knowing exactly what it is they’re being asked to do and, crucially, without the added pressure of having to match the flair of their predecessor.
Of course, having the right players to drop into these positions is key, and Brighton’s recruitment over the past couple of seasons has been exemplary. The Seagulls have scoured lesser-tapped parts of the transfer market around the world, scouting prodigy talents like Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister and Julio Enciso from South America.
The club have also proven themselves to be shrewd negotiators, getting a reported £15 million off Everton for Neal Maupay, £25 million for Yves Bissouma and a world-record £56 million for Marc Cucurella. They’ve also managed to steer away from buy-back clauses in the deals for Tariq Lamptey and Billy Gilmour from Chelsea.
How Good Are Brighton?
Brighton won four of their first six games to kickstart their 2022/23 Premier League season, extending their run from last season to 10 wins, 4 draws and just 2 losses in their past fifteen matches.
The team have recorded over 50% of the possession in all but two of their matches this season, registering 118 passes into the final third and 60 key passes so far at a pass completion rate of 78%.
The Seagulls are also creating 22 shot-creating actions every ninety minutes which, for reference is more than Chelsea (17.67) and Manchester United (20.50).
It’s clear Brighton are reaping the benefits of having a stable structure in terms of how they operate both on and off the pitch. A forward-thinking and ambitious manager in Graham Potter has proven himself to be an incredible asset to possess, and it’s clear his eagerness to embrace new systems depending on the context has won him a motivated and energised dressing room.
With a mixture of veteran pros like Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck to hot prospects like Moises Caicedo or Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton have a wealth of talent at their disposal all eager to prove their point on the biggest stage in European football.
We’re not exactly expecting them to be gunning for Champions League glory, but the future certainly looks bright for Brighton.
Brighton 2022/23 Premier League Stats
Goals For: 11
Goals Against: 5
Biggest Win: Brighton 5-2 Leicester (4 September 2022)
Red Bulls, James Anderson and Christian Pulisic enthusiast. Still unsure how Wes Brown wrangled himself a Champions League medal – Premier League, Cricket and Major League Soccer contributor at SinkorSwimSports.