For the first time in the Premier League era, Brighton and Hove Albion have been promoted into the top division of England. Brighton finished with 90 points in the EFL Championship, good enough to get automatic promotion in second place. Their club already has some Premier League quality players going into the season. They are also making splashes in the transfer window to prepare this club for the biggest challenge they have ever faced.
Just like any other newly promoted team, avoiding relegation in the first season of being in the Premier League is never easy. That goes for every club except Red Bull Leipzig, but that’s a whole different topic of discussion. Here are some things Brighton have to do and/or must do to survive in the top flight this season.
Retain As Many Players As Possible Next Summer
Brighton has an overload of expiring contracts when their first Premier League season is finished. Whether they remain in the top division or not, these players must be persuaded to sign a new contract with the club rather than opting to another team. Players like Tomer Hemed, Liam Rosenoir, Gaitan Bong, and Steve Sidwell all have the option to leave the club once the season comes to a close.
Keeping a deep squad is a priority in the Premier League. With world class athletes pushing each other to the limit for 90 minutes, players will get exhausted and could get injured. Replacements are mandatory when trying to stay atop the English football ladder. However, spending too much money is never a good idea. They need to complete bargain transfers and not spend millions into the double-figures on just one player.
Sign A Striker
Last season, Bournemouth Striker Glenn Murray arrived at Brighton on loan. He went on to score more home goals than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo that season. He had 23 when the season came to a close, which was a three-way tie for second most in the league.
However, Murray has gone back to Bournemouth, and the Cherries now realize that Murray can now serve an active role in the side. Whether Brighton lands Murray permanently or sign a different first team forward, they need to do something.
Brighton have Tomer Hemed and Sam Baldock up front, who scored eleven goals each last season. This is a solid amount of goals, but we have to remember that these are goals in the Championship. Neither of them seem to be consistent scoring options when the Premier League season begins.
Keep Anthony Knockaert
The clear-cut star for Brighton last season was Anthony Knockaert. The kid made the EFL Team of the Season, scoring 15 goals and 8 assists during Brighton’s magical campaign. Knockaert is an all-around offensive weapon, whether it set-pieces, his skill on the ball, his passing, his technique. He has all the tools in the bag.
All Brighton need to do is make sure an aspiring Premier League team doesn’t try to snatch up the winger. Even at a hefty price, Anthony is the true poster boy of this club and represents the squad more than anyone else could. His very presence is enough to make retaining him an absolute must heading into their first ever Premier League season.
In the end, Brighton should be proud of their accomplishment, regardless of however this season pans out for them. Reaching promotion for the first time in their history is a treat to their fans, players, and is just an amazing experience that their players will carry with them for the rest of their career.
This club has a fantastic manager in Chris Hughton, they have an amazing ground in the Falmer Stadium, and already maintain pieces to be a contender in this league. All they need to do is make a few tweaks to the roster here and there and keep their core. Nothing dramatic, just the basics. Surviving your first Premier League season is never easy, but I have faith that Brighton can manage to stay up if they make the right decisions this window.