The 2019-20 season has been an odd season for Brighton, who played more expansive football under new manager Graham Potter but didn’t have a top position in front of goal, so their lag on actual goals compared to expected goals (xG) has become something became a running joke. Potter led the Seagulls to 41 points, the same record as last year after Potter replaced Chris Hughton in May 2019, and a place lower than 16. To ensure safety, the team can get going.
Previous transfer window
Only one conspicuous commitment, the Zambian midfielder Enock Mwepu from RB Salzburg with a £ 20 million deal. The 23-year-old Mewpu can come forward and instigate attacks, but is also versatile and will provide useful cover for right winger Tariq Lamptey, who was on the sideline at times last season. A striker still feels like a priority given the fighting in front of goal last season. Center-back Ben White joined Arsenal while Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Davy Propper both joined the Dutch Eredivisie.
Graham Potter has made Brighton a different team that is more tactically fluid, able to change shape and adapt their style of play to suit their opponents, while always adhering to a core principle of passing. But he has to give the team a sharp edge if they want to move up in the league this season. If they slip into another battle for relegation, the board may lose patience despite the eye-friendly approach.
It’s hard to look beyond Captain Lewis Dunk. His leadership and defensive skills are becoming even more important this season with White’s departure and without an obvious source of goals, Brighton will have to clear if they want to have a strong season. Leandro Trossard will be decisive further up the front – the Belgian shone last season and if he can show his best more consistently Brighton will be a much more serious threat.
Brighton’s striker Trossard celebrates his goal against Tottenham
What would success be?
They have done it in Brighton’s four seasons since they were promoted to the Premier League: 15th with 40 points; 17th with 36 points; 15th with 41 points; and 16th with 41 points. The roster hasn’t improved that much over the summer, but the players know Potter a little better and he’s had time to grapple with his roster so that, with over 45 points and no threat of relegation, he got a safer midfield position, and it’s not unrealistic and would be good progress.
Ranking of bookmakers
13th 200-1 to win the Premier League (via Oddschecker).
The first three games
Burnley (a) Saturday, August 14th, 3pm
Watford (h) Saturday, August 21, 5:30 p.m.
Everton (h) Saturday, August 28th, 3pm
Probable first XI line-up
Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Mwepu, Bissouma, March; Gross, Trossard, Maupay.