Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
Nicknames – The Seagulls, Albion
Best PL Finish – 15th (2017/18)
Despite only being in their second season in the Premier League, Brighton already feel like an established mid table side.
This is even more remarkable when considering that the club almost went out of existence in the late 90s and they were without a home ground from 1997-2011.
They are now managed by Chris Hughton who has been there since 2014, making him the 3rd longest serving manager in the league behind only Eddie Howe at Bournemouth and Sean Dyche at Burnley.
The riches and glamour of the Premier League is still fairly new to the Seagulls and their transfer dealings are more conservative than plenty of other top flight clubs. They are beginning to build a reputation though of signing hidden gems on the cheap and reaping the rewards.
Top 5 Record Transfer Fees (as of 04/02/2019):
- Alireza Jahanbakhsh – £17 million (from AZ Alkmaar, July 2018)*
- Yves Bissouma – £15 million (from Lille, July 2018 **
- Jürgen Locadia – £14 million (from PSV Eindhoven, January 2018)***
- José Izquierdo – £13.5 million (from Club Brugge, August 2017)****
- Alexis Mac Allister – £7 million (From Argentinos, January 2019)*****
* The fee is officially undisclosed, but believed to be £17 million. (The Argus)
** The fee is officially undisclosed, but believed to be in the region of £15 million (Sky Sports), though this is disputed by the BBC.
***The fee is officially undisclosed, but believed to be in the region of £14 million. Fee claimed to be £16 million by Sky Sports months later.
****Fee officially undisclosed, but believed to be £13.5 million. (The Argus)
*****Fee officially undisclosed but believed to be around £7 million. (Goal)
(Figures include initial fees in GBP at the time of the transfer, as reported by the BBC unless specified otherwise)
Biggest Flop – Jürgen Locadia
There are not many obvious flops when you look through Brighton’s recent history. This a testament to how well the club has been run more than anything else.
However, there will always be one or two who slip through the net and this time round it is Jürgen Locadia who steps up to the plate.
Bought to much aplomb in the winter transfer window of 2018 for £14 million from PSV Eindhoven, Locadia struggled to settle in England it seemed.
He spent the majority of the season on the bench, having been ousted from the team by 34-year-old Glenn Murray.
He has however forced his way back into the team and has 15 league appearances this season. He has only returned two goals and if he wants to be considered a successful signing he will have to start generating healthier returns.
Biggest Bargain – Pascal Groß
Pascal Gross was bought in the summer of 2017 for £3.6 million FC Ingolstadt. He spent five seasons with the German club before being picked up by Brighton.
He was largely an unknown entity when he joined the Seagulls but quickly cemented himself as one of Brighton’s most important players.
He had been involved in 7 of 11 of Brighton’s goals in their first 8 matches last season and even scored their first ever Premier League goal.
He is an incredibly versatile footballer who despite being most comfortable in a deeper midfield role has been deployed behind the striker at times as well.
He is a marvellous crosser of the ball as well. Last season he was in the top 10 for most assists despite Brighton being in 17th for goals scored as a team.
Brighton surprised many last season by surviving without too much hassle in their maiden Premier League season. This was a combination of the good management and infrastructure of course, but it cannot be understated just how important Gross was to their survival.
To top it all off he even managed to score the winning goal against Manchester United which secured the club’s survival.
Records & Trivia
- Bobby Zamora was brought in on loan to Brighton in 2000 after making only four League appearances for Bristol Rovers. He was soon signed on a permanent deal and went on to score 83 goals in 136 appearances.
- Dean Saunders plied his trade in Brighton at the start of his career. However, he was released on a free transfer in 1987 before going to establish himself as one of the most prolific goalscorers in the English game
- Mark Lawrenson, now most famous for his punditry, was also a one-time Brighton player. The Seagulls actually outbid Liverpool for the teenager’s signature in 1977. He was sold in 1981 due to financial difficulties and went on to win 5 league titles as well as the European Cup with Liverpool.