What Could Go Wrong? Brighton & Hove Albion 18/19 Season Preview

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Brighton & Hove Albion finished 15th last season on the magical 40-point mark. They spent a lot this summer, but did they spend well?

Who’s In?

  • Alireza Jahanbakhsh — 24 — Right Winger — AZ Alkmaar — $19.7M
  • Yves Bissouma — 21 — Central Midfielder — LOSC Lille — $17.5M
  • Bernardo — 23 — Leftback — RB Leipzig — $10.4M
  • Martin Montoya — 27 — Rightback — Valencia — $7.3M
  • Florin Andone — 25 — Striker — La Coruna — $6.2M
  • David Button — 29 — Goalkeeper — Fulham — $4.7M
  • Dan Burn — 26 — Center Back — Wigan — $3.4M
  • Percy Tau — 24 — Center Forward — Sundowns — $3.3M
  • Jason Steele — 27 — Goalkeeper — Sunderland — Free
  • Leon Balogun — 30 — Center Back — Mainz — Free

Who’s Out?

  • Sam Baldock — 29 — Center Forward — Reading — $4M
  • Connor Goldson — 25 — Center Back — Rangers — $3.5M
  • Jamie Murphy — 28 — Left Winger — Rangers — $1.2M
  • Jiri Skalak — 26 — Left-Winger — Millwall — $1M
  • Tyler Hornby-Forbes — 22 — Rightback — Newport County — Free
  • Christian Walton — 22 — Goalkeeper — Wigan — Loan

European Chances

Brighton sure spent like they’re going for it, or to stay up at least. And they spent where they need it the most: goal scoring.

Thirty-four-year-old Glenn Murray’s game is declining even though his 12 goals led Brighton last season. Murray was heroic, but he isn’t getting any younger.

So, who’s going to replace Murray’s production and, hopefully, surge Brighton to Europe? New signee Florin Andone scored six goals in La Liga last year so that’s not promising. It’s tough to justify Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s production last year in Dutch football and Percy Tau scored 11 goals in something called the ABSA Premiership. That leaves us with Columbian international winger José Izquierdo — it’s all on you, bro.

When Will Your Manager Be Fired

Chris-Hughton-Brighton-Hove-Albion

No one is jumping at the opportunity to sack Chris Hughton. By all accounts, he’s one of the most beloved English managers in the league. People love this guy, and I don’t see him ever falling out with the fans or media unless he literally lights Hove on fire. And still, there’s a chance he remains the manager.

Fans might be lighting the message boards on fire before October. Brighton play Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in their first seven games. Their most-hated rival — Crystal Palace — began last season with seven goalless losses and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Brighton match that this season.

Look, I think Brighton get relegated this season. I don’t know who is scoring the goals and I don’t know if their defense is Burnley enough to last against relentless attacking clubs. Hughton will survive, however. It will be up to him whether he goes down with the club or moves to his next job.

Which Player Will A Bigger Club Poach?

German midfielder Pascal Groß ignites everything for Brighton, and for good reason. Last season, Groß averaged 2.5 key passes per 90 minutes. He’s good on the ball and picks out passes well from the middle of the pitch. If Brighton go down or barely survive, I think a bigger club will start asking about the 27-year-old.

Unknown to Household

Alireza-Jahanbakhsh-Brighton-Hove-Albion

Iranian right-winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh was the top scorer in the Dutch Airdevise last season with AZ Alkmaar. The big question is if he can pair well with left-winger José Izquierdo and striker Florin Andone. I don’t know who will be the tip of the Brighton spear, I’m giving Andone the benefit of the doubt here. Although, it’s safe to assume, whoever it is, it’s going to be dull.

Jahanbakhsh (don’t ask me to pronounce this in-person) can provide some excitement from the right wing. So much so, before the end of the season, the game will start flowing through the Iranian instead of midfielder Pascal Groß — think Xherdan Shaqiri for Stoke last season. 

Relegation Odds

5/2 – The fourth-favorite to be relegated.

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