Brighton have a gaping hole in attack and must break payscale to land a proven striker

There's no way of dressing it up, the Albion lost to a bang average Chelsea side as they started their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with the 3-1 home defeat
Graham Potter's Premier League squad looks short on strikersGraham Potter's Premier League squad looks short on strikers
Graham Potter's Premier League squad looks short on strikers

Granted, a schoolboy error led to the penalty, no debate with the second, a worldie and a unlucky deflection for the third, but ultimately in a 100 years time the record books will just show the result.

Three years ago on the eve of the first Premier League campaign for the Albion, I wrote about the ‘free hit’ games, matches against City, United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and perhaps in a fit of pique back in 2017, Everton.

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14 games, home and away, 42 points, that the Albion could effectively expect nothing from, so anything was a bonus, but on Monday night 20 minutes in, it became patently obvious to the legions of viewers watching at home, that Chelsea were there for the taking.

Unfortunately there was a caveat to that, an end product.

Whilst the performances of Premier League debutant Ben White, Tariq Lamptey, a rejuvenated Solly March and even Leandro Trossard’s equaliser, were encouraging, in the final third there appears to be a gaping hole.

Fans continued to air their gripes right across social media with the upshot being that this is now another watershed in the history of Brighton and Hove Albion.

Whatever level of football right across the globe, a team is only as good as it’s front line.

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Fans have pointed to the purchase of Callum Wilson by Newcastle as almost a benchmark for the Albion, we will find out on Sunday how potent Wilson is, as the Seagulls travel to St James’s Park for their opening away game of the campaign.

The Toon paid Bournemouth £22million for Wilson, that’s not the issue, the Albion can easily stump up that kind of money, it’s the weekly wage that provides the stumbling block.

Wilson is on a reported £110,000 a week, well above the Albion’s reputed highest earner.

Unfortunately whether we all like it or not, and frankly with current economic situation I’m not comfortable with it, but it’s par for the course.

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A proven striker at the level required will almost certainly need Albion to smash their pay scale, dare I say it, even paying the said player six figures a week.

But if that pushes the team as a whole on to the next level, rather than an annual fight against relegation then reluctantly that’s what they are going to have to do.

I’m reliably informed it’s not for the want of trying on the recruitment front, and to quote my source directly, patience is a virtue.

Whether that patience is rewarded before the trip to the North East remains to be seen, but I’m ending with not one, but two, predictions.

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Thursday, the League Cup South Coast derby with Portsmouth, 3-0 to the Albion, and then to Sunday Newcastle 1, Brighton 1.

And finally 25 years ago, I was dispatched to the Metropole Hotel in Brighton by the then sports editor to cover the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight title fight between the champion James Oyebola and the challenger Shoreham’s very own Scott Welch.

So began an enjoyable period covering Scott, who won that night, and spawned a friendship that survives to this day.

This week Scott’s son, Tom, turned professional and his boxing journey now begins, something I will be looking forward to reporting in this paper in the coming years.

Good luck Tom, let’s hope the fans will be back for your first contest?