Premier League Nike AerowSculpt strike ball. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Premier League Nike AerowSculpt strike ball. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Premier League Nike AerowSculpt strike ball. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Brighton transfer rumours: Albion in hunt for 11-goal English striker, Aston Villa want to offload £16.5m talent

Graham Potter has said Brighton and Hove Albion must make their money work even harder if they are to establish themselves as a top 10 club in the Premier League.

Brighton have impressed at times this season and are ninth in the Premier League table with 17 points from 12 matches.

Their form has however dipped of late and the defeat at Aston Villa means Potter's team are without a win in their last seven top flight matches.

Albion controlled much of the possession at Villa Park but lacked a cutting edge in the final third. When the play did open in the final stages, it was Villa who capitalised on the extra space and Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings sealed the points for Steven Gerrad's team with two well-taken goals.

The match highlighted the problems Brighton face in their attempts to maintain their lofty position in the Premier League and to achieve the club's well-documented aim of being an established top 10 club.

Albion work on one of the smaller budgets in the Premier League and struggle to match the wages and transfer fees compared with the likes of Aston Villa, West Ham, Everton and Leicester who all operate in that competitive space just under the 'big six'.

Taking that next step is a huge challenge for the club. Villa's goalscorer Watkins was a player Brighton were interested in when he left Brentford in 2020 but his £30m fee and hefty salary was too rich for Albion.

The Seagulls will hope striker Danny Welbeck - who joined on a free transfer in 2020 - will be available in the new year but Potter will no doubt hope the club can boost his strike force in the January window and help maintain their promising start.

"You have to understand that 95 per cent of the league is determined by finance," said Potter. "That is the reality of it.

"We are trying to be in the five per cent that can make a difference. The only way you can do that is by having an idea and clarity in terms of what you are trying to do.

"Align everything the club does in terms of the academy and the recruitment. You have to ultimately make your pound note work harder than the rest.

"We have our structure and we have our responsibility to the club in the medium and long term. But we want to compete and we want to try to try and improve.

It is important we understand where we are at. But we are ambitious, we have beaten Liverpool, we have beaten Man City, Tottenham and Arsenal.

"We have done that with ambition and but at the same time you have to respect the Premier League and the quality of the opponent."