Beram Kayal has now made seven appearances this season, which many people would not have predicted at the start of the season. The 30-year-old midfielder is enjoying his best run of starts in the Premier League, having made five consecutive starts due to injuries to both Davy Propper and Dale Stephens this season.
Kayal’s first solid game-time this season came against Tottenham when he came on for the injured Stephens just 21 minutes into the game. Since then Kayal started alongside Propper (for one game), and now Stephens with Propper out with ankle ligament damage.
The Israeli midfielder has certainly impressed in his starts, scoring one goal and being a real warrior in the midfield for The Seagulls.
As mentioned above, Kayal has made an impact in the middle of the park. Kayal has had terrible luck with injuries over the last couple of seasons, and it is excellent for Brighton fans to see him back fit and playing well.
The midfielder has impressed with his performances, especially the one at Newcastle where he scored the only goal, to stop Brighton’s dismal form away from home, with that win being their first on the road since November 2017 away at Swansea City.
Kayal also got an assist for the only goal scored by Glenn Murray in the win over West Ham at The Amex. He had also managed to pick up the partnership and understanding with Stephens that the pair had when they were in the Championship, which was especially prominent in the 2015-16 season.
Kayal’s work-rate during games is also very impressive as he is a bundle of energy and is always running about, closing down and breaking away with the ball even in the latter stages of the games, when some of the players do not have that sort of energy to do so.
What happens when Propper comes back?
The question that will be asked as Propper returns in late November/early December is who will start in the centre midfield role? The simple answer to this is if Kayal continues to perform as well as he been and he further extends his partnership alongside Stephens in the midfield, Propper will have to make do with a place on the bench.
Chris Hughton is a manager who is very reluctant to change a winning squad or change players just because someone has come back from injury, so Propper may have to prove what he can do off the bench to sway Hughton to start him over Kayal. Personally, if someone were to say to me who would be your starting midfield partnership out of Propper, Kayal and Stephens, I would choose Kayal and Stephens.
This is because even though Propper is a great player technically and a has great vision and passing, Kayal’s work-rate and solid technical ability on the ball edges it.
Kayal will run around and put himself about a lot more than Propper because he is a different type of midfielder than Propper.
One thing is for sure; Propper will have to work hard when he is fit to get back into the side if he wants to take the place of fan’s favourite Kayal.