Brighton: The summer transfer window and what they need to do

Analysis, insight and pundit views on what Brighton need to do in the transfer market this summer; Sky Sports News' Elliot Cook: "Much of the focus on Brighton's planning for a fifth successive season of top-flight football will fall on trying to keep hold of key players."

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Image: Analysis, insight and pundit views on what Brighton need to do in the transfer market this summer...

With Brighton looking to shape a squad that they hope will take them to a position further up the Premier League table, it looks like being an interesting summer for the Sussex club.

Which positions are Brighton targeting?

Brighton will certainly be looking to increase their forward options in the window and they may well look to the Championship or tap into European or South American markets.

Technical director Dan Ashworth and head coach Graham Potter along with the recruitment department will be looking for a player with potential at a reasonable price.

In terms of other positions, the Seagulls are looking to bring in another left-wing back who can add competition in that area of the pitch. Solly March is due to return from a long-term injury at the start of next season but Brighton are keen to bolster options down the left-hand side. The goalkeepers' situation may also change with decisions to be made about Mat Ryan's future - he spent the second half of the season on loan at Arsenal. It's also likely Brighton will look to offer some of the current squad new contracts.

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Graham Potter is keen to keep hold of Danny Welbeck but says Brighton will wait until the summer to sort out the future of the in-form forward

What do the stats say about Brighton?

Brighton's biggest problem this season has been finding the back of the net, despite securing a fifth successive season of Premier League football.

Potter's side, who have the joint-fewest number of defeats of any side in the bottom half of the Premier League table, constantly record better expected goals stats their opponents. It's been a common theme for the Seagulls and they rank almost rock-bottom of the Premier League in terms of their expected goals difference, scoring 11.7 fewer goals than they've been expected to this season.

Danny Welbeck's brilliant end-of-season form has helped in that department but it all points to signing a striker this summer, and if they can find the right one, they could push up the table quite quickly.

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Brighton, alongside Southampton, have also lost more points from winning positions, giving up 25 over the course of the season. It's something Potter will need to look into this summer if he wants his side to climb the table next season.

What the manager has said...

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Image: Graham Potter: "We're not naive enough to know some players will move, it's part of the job of football to adjust your squad a little bit."

Graham Potter on the challenges ahead this summer: "We're not naive enough to know some players will move, it's part of the job of football to adjust your squad a little bit.

"We have to be brave enough to understand that and, at the same time, know that we are trying to finish the transfer window in a better place than when we started it, that's the challenge of any transfer window, any summer.

"We won't change in terms of the path that we are on, that will be continuous, but we also have to accept it's part of life that some people move and some people stay."

On whether he could offer any assurances midfielder Yves Bissouma will remain with the Seagulls this summer: "Not really. He's contracted with us and as far as I know he's going to report to pre-season like everyone else, but it's football.

"We have to make some good decisions in the summer and improve the football club. That's what we have to do."

What should Brighton do this summer?

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The Soccer Saturday panel discuss how good Brighton's Yves Bissouma is and whether he's worth more than £40m

Sky Sports News' Elliot Cook writes: "Much of the focus on Brighton's planning for the club's unprecedented fifth successive season of top-flight football will fall on trying to keep hold of key players.

"Midfielder Yves Bissouma and defender Ben White are being monitored by the creme de la creme of Premier League clubs, while talks have been opened with striker Danny Welbeck about signing a new contract - his current deal expires this summer.

"Bissouma who was signed for £15m by then Brighton manager Chris Hughton in the summer of 2018, has been a standout performer for the team in several games this season and his name is sure to occupy the transfer gossip columns during the window. It's understood the 24-year-old is valued in excess of £40m by the club. It is thought clubs may test Brighton's resolve with offers in the window.

"White is another who could attract interest this summer - even Jose Mourinho's Roma have been linked with a move for the versatile 23-year-old.

"Meanwhile, Brighton's failure to convert the high number of chances they create will lead to calls for a striker to be signed. There is no doubt a proven 20-goal a season forward is on every mid to lower-end Premier League team's wish list.

"The problem is they cost money, big money. Brighton do not have the financial muscle of some clubs in the transfer market and have also been hit hard financially by the Covid pandemic so expectations must be realistic. However, the club will be looking to increase their forward options in the window."

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Brighton boss Graham Potter says he takes reports linking him with the Tottenham job with a pinch of salt and insists he is happy on the south coast.

Sky Sports' Simeon Gholam writes: "It seems such an obvious thing to say that Brighton need to find a striker this summer because, let's face it, who doesn't? But you only need to look at the goals for and against column - or even the Expected Goals statistics - to see what Graham Potter's side are sorely lacking and what they need to reach the next level.

"Danny Welbeck was excellent in fits and bursts, but his injury problems mean he will never be a reliable option, and Neal Maupay has shown in two seasons that he is unlikely to become a credible Premier League goal scorer.

"Elsewhere, it would be a huge blow to lose both Yves Bissouma and Ben White this summer.

"Both will need to be replaced if they go, while adding a conventional left-back wouldn't hurt either. If Brighton look to dip into the Championship then Rico Henry from Brentford - if they don't go up - and potentially Adam Armstrong from Blackburn would both fit in very nicely."

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