Brighton and Hove Albion end summer transfer window stronger financially if not up front

Posted On 02 Sep 2021 at 5:49 pm

Fans may be yearning for a new striker but can take heart from two early wins in three games and a summer transfer window that strengthened Brighton and Hove Albion’s finances.

Ben White’s £50 million transfer to Arsenal – currently bottom of the table – is not only the club’s biggest ever transfer receipt but a heftier sum than most people expected.

The Seagulls look to have received more than they spent in transfer fees this summer, unlike almost all other top flight sides.

Three signings have joined the squad – Marc “Cucu” Cucurella, Enock Mwepu and Kjell Scherpen – while others, such as Kaoru Mitoma and Abdallah Sima, are among 14 players who went out on loan.

Nine departures – including Maty Ryan, Davy Propper, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Bernardo and Jose Izquierdo – have helped bring down the club’s wages bill.

The result may mean that the Seagulls are financially better placed to swoop come January even though fans might prefer a proven goal scorer sooner rather than later.

The usual rumours swirled around the likes of Odsonne Edouard, who went from Celtic to Crystal Palace, and the Benfica and Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez.

Instead, Shane Duffy is back from his loan spell with Celtic – and Albion splashed out more than £15 million on Getafe midfielder Cucu.

And Enock Mwepu, the £18 million signing from RB Salzburg, looked like he was being lined up to fill Yves Bissouma’s boots although, to widespread relief, Bissouma remains at the Amex – as does Solly March.

The other new arrival in the squad is goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen while youngsters Taylor Richards and Brighton-born teenager Haydon Roberts have stepped up.

Richards, a 20-year-old midfielder, found the net 10 times during his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers last season.

As well as White, Ryan, Propper, Jahanbakhsh, Bernardo and Izquierdo, the other departures were Percy Tau, Viktor Gyokeres and Jan Mlaker.

Those going out on loan were Michal Karbownik, Andi Zeqiri, Christian Walton, Matt Clarke, Jayson Molumby, Leo Ostigard, Abdallah Sima, Florin Andone, Jan Paul van Hecke, Moises Caicedo, Kaoru Mitoma, Carl Rushworth, Jensen Weir and Reda Khadra.

While the sale of Ben White and the other transfer dealings may prove to be good business, fans want a net surplus on the pitch, with more goals for than against.

Who can forget that Lewis Dunk was among the leading scorers last season! He found the target five times – a tally beaten only by Neal Maupay and Danny Welbeck.

Graham Potter has shown that he can field a team to outplay even the best sides, while he and the club appear to be investing in the future, signing players with potential.

This is in keeping with the patient way that Albion have put in place solid foundations with the stadium at Falmer and training ground at Lancing.

So let’s hope that this is the season when Albion at last rise above the relegation scrap and – despite the lack of a new striker – bank more points as well as pounds.

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