The £8.5million Brighton trio who could find their way into Graham Potter’s plans next season
Graham Potter said he didn’t really feel the need to use the full extent of his bench in Brighton’s 2-0 loss to Aston Villa at the weekend.
Albion put on an uneven display against Steven Gerrard’s men on Saturday as goals from Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins condemned them to a third successive defeat.
Danny Welbeck was brought on just after the hour mark, for Jakub Moder, but six minutes after his introduction, the Villans made it 2-0.
In the final 25 minutes or so, the Seagulls didn’t really create many chances or threaten Emiliano Martinez in the opposing goal.
Read more: Man City’s Pep Guardiola compares Brighton to Liverpool, Leeds United and Aston Villa
In fact, throughout the match, the Sussex side only had one shot on target – something they also did in the 3-0 thrashing by Burnley a week before.
When asked if the fact that players on the pitch have delivered so many times this season has made him reluctant to make a change, he said sussex live: “Yeah exactly, there’s a bit of that.
“I thought we were pushing. Danny [Welbeck] and Neal [Maupay] were fine. Leo [Trossard] and Solly [March] had an effect, it didn’t seem necessary to really change anything to make it different.
“The boys on the pitch were fine. Marc [Cucurella] and Tariq [Lamptey] gave us width. But I think whatever we did it would have been difficult because Aston Villa were well organized and they defended well and made it difficult for us.”
Brighton’s replacements, other than Welbeck, included goalkeeper Jason Steele, centre-back Shane Duffy, midfielders Pascal Gross and Steven Alzate, and four 20-and-under players.
They were Moises Caicedo, 20, who is still awaiting his Premier League debut, Marc Leonard, 20, Odel Offiah, 19 and 17-year-old striker Evan Ferguson.
Although all of these players have a lot of skill and talent, they weren’t in demand last weekend.
From the start of next season, however, Brighton’s bench and starting XI may be even stronger – meaning Potter could be eager to go to his replacements if things don’t quite work out in the field.
Here are three players, in particular, who are on the club’s books and can provide that spark off the bench, if needed.
Brighton signed the Japan international from Kawasaki Frontale last summer for an estimated £2.5million before loaning him to Union SG for the season. In the Belgian top flight, the 24-year-old has scored six goals and provided three assists.
He has an electric rhythm, delicate feet and can score any foot. Moreover, he is versatile, playing as a winger, wing-back and supporting striker this season.
Thomas Camia journalist from Union SG for Sportwereld.be, said sussex live: “You can feel that every time Kaoru Mitoma receives the ball, everyone in the stadium holds their breath because something might happen. The fans really love him.”
You could say that aside from Lamptey, Brighton don’t have much pace in their squad.
Jeremy Sarmiento might add to that, but he’s injured and while Leandro Trossard can beat a player with his quick feet, Mitoma has speed and skill, not just the latter.
This could be a tempting option to use when defenders are tired.
Mitoma’s teammate Undav is currently one of the most prolific strikers in Europe.
Brighton signed the striker for just under £6million in January, before loaning him to Union for the rest of the season as they bid to win the Jupiler Pro League.
The 25-year-old, who is very strong on the ball and has an excellent work rate, has scored 21 goals and provided 10 assists in all competitions this season.
If Welbeck does not sign a new contract this summer, Undav could start next season in the starting XI.
But if he doesn’t and is taken off the bench, that’s another great option to have available to you.
Brighton have reportedly signed the former Borussia Dortmund academy product for several hundred thousand pounds.
But with the way he’s progressing, the 20-year-old is likely to cost a lot more than that now and in the future.
Khadra has become a key player in Blackburn Rovers’ bid for promotion to the Premier League this season. The winger has scored five goals and five assists for Tony Mowbray’s men.
He’s by no means the finished article, but Blackburn fans are delighted with his speed, skill and ability to turn a game around.
Mowbray himself told the Lancashire Telegraph: “You sit there and you look at him and you think, ‘I wouldn’t like to play against him because he’s so quick and cunning and powerful and has a rocket in his right foot. “.”
He added that he needs to work on his game when he doesn’t have the ball, but the player who returns to Brighton this summer will be a much better player than the one who left in August.
Besides these three, there is also Kacper Kozlowski, a midfielder who has been hailed as Poland’s brightest young star, even more so than Albion midfielder Jakub Moder.
Taylor Richards, who is on loan at Birmingham City, will be back, as will Andi Zeqiri, Aaron Connolly and many more.
When next season rolls around, Potter might want to free up his bench more than ever.