Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Three Areas Brighton & Hove Albion Should Strengthen In Order To Compete For A Mid Table Finish

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Adam Stenning
Adam is the Brighton Correspondent here at The 4th Official. He is a 21-year old Sports Journalism graduate. He is not only passionate about football but also has a keen interest in cricket, tennis and Formula 1.

With the Premier League season just two months away and a very tough opening game at home to Manchester City, Brighton will need to have a squad with good depth and quality going into the season.

The Seagulls have already added three players to the squad in Matt Ryan, Pascal Groß and Josh Kerr, but in my opinion, there are still a few areas in the squad which need strengthening.

The first of these being in between the sticks, as The Albion now only have one senior keeper because of the departure of David Stockdale on a free to Birmingham and last season’s backup keeper, Nikki Maenpaa having not agreed on a new contract, with his current deal ending next month.

This means Brighton only have one senior keeper in Ryan, who recently signed from Valencia last week.

One of the players The Seagulls have been linked with is Willy Caballero. The 35-year-old Argentinean is available on a free after Manchester City announced they would be releasing him, after three years at the club. There are reports Brighton have submitted a contract offer to the keeper but with Chelsea rumoured to be interested, the Seagulls will struggle to compete with higher wage offers and the Champions League offer that Chelsea have.

Caballero would be a great signing for The Albion as he would be an experienced keeper with over 20 Premier League appearances under his belt last season and we could do with someone like him to call on if anything happened to Ryan.

Another area that needs strengthening is left-back, due to Brighton only having one senior left-back to call on in Gaetan Bong. But we cannot just rely on Bong after the 29-year-old Cameroon international made only 23 appearances last season due to a groin injury hampering him.

The Seagulls other left-back last season, Sebastien Pocognoli has not signed for Brighton, after a successful loan spell last year and has joined Standard Liege on a free transfer last week, after West Bromwich Albion released him.

There are a couple of players The Albion are being linked with. The first is Markus Suttner, a left-back from FC Ingolstadt. There are reports that Brighton have made a bid for the 30-year-old Austrian international, who has 18 caps for his country.

Suttner would be a good signing in my opinion as he has international experience and seems to enjoy getting forward, which in my opinion Bong does not do enough.

The other player who Albion have been linked with is Joe Gomez on loan from Liverpool. The 20- year old Englishman made a couple of appearances for Liverpool’s first team in 2015 before an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury kept him out for a year and since then he has only appeared once for Liverpool in the FA Cup in January of this year.

Gomez would be a great addition to the squad, as he is young and possesses a great deal of pace and loves to get forward and make his mark in the final third of the pitch. My only concern is whether Gomez will be match sharp as he has only made a handful of appearances since returning from a year-long absence with injury.

The final position, I feel that needs strengthening is in the striking department. The Albion only have three strikers at the moment in Glenn Murray, Sam Baldock and Tomer Hemed. But last season when Sam Baldock was out with injury, Brighton struggled with pace, as Murray and Hemed do not have the blistering pace of Baldock to keep harrying defenders and causing problems with his runs in behind the defence.

Brighton have been linked with a couple of strikers. The first being Jonathan Cafu from Ludogorets. The Brazilian striker has made 52 appearances, scoring 17 goals.

I’m not sure whether Cafu would be a good signing for The Albion because of the fact his scoring record is not convincing me that he could cut it in the Premier League. The only positive is Cafu has Champions League experience and has a better scoring record in that, including a goal against Arsenal.

The other striker Brighton have been linked with Ahmed Musa from Leicester who has struggled to feature regularly for The Foxes. The Nigerian has only made 16 appearances since joining last season and has only notched two goals.

Musa would fit in well at The Albion if he signed as he is lightning quick and with the right service could be a potent striker, but the only issue is that Leicester wants £16 million for him which could be a stumbling block for the Seagulls.

Whoever Brighton sign this season, they will be hoping to avoid relegation and if they can keep the spirit and togetherness they have shown over the last couple of season, I do not see why they cannot achieve a mid-table finish.

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