Brighton Premier League preview: The 10 new and improved Albion stars Graham Potter will unleash

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Expectations and ambitions are high for the upcoming Premier League season, as Albion look to kick on after they secured their fifth consecutive season in the top-flight last campaign.

Graham Potter’s squad has evolved this season with the departure of fringe player Alireza Jahanbakhsh, while Maty Ryan annd Davy Propper have also moved on.

Ben White was the only regular from last season’s first team who has left, while Brighton have brought in Enock Mwepu from Red Bull Salzburg.

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As always, expectation will be high this season and here’s 10 players who will be vital to Albion’s fortunes this season.

Enock Mwepu: Having signed a four-year deal with Zambian international Enock Mwepu, 23, Brighton look to have snapped up a player to keep an eye on in the upcoming season.

Arriving from reigning Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, the athletic six-foot midfielder is coming off the back of an impressive season, in which he made 45 appearances, scoring 10 and assisting seven. Excellent attacking contributions from a player more revered for his ball-winning abilities.

Nicknamed ‘The Computer’ for his skill in reading the game, Mwepu combines brains with brawn, displaying tenacity and a high work rate, making him adept in winning back possession for his side.

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Alongside his good defensive qualities, fast feet and composure means Brighton’s new man isn’t easily flustered by opposition pressing, standing him in good stead when the Seagulls face off against the bigger sides in the league, who will look to press high to win the ball back quickly.

Midfielder Enock Mwepu joined for £20 from Red Bull SalzburgMidfielder Enock Mwepu joined for £20 from Red Bull Salzburg
Midfielder Enock Mwepu joined for £20 from Red Bull Salzburg

Mwepu gave Seagulls fans a glimpse into his tireless work rate and willingness to get forward in their pre-season friendly against Luton Town, finding the net in a 3-1 win. A hard-working box-to-box midfielder with experience in the Champions League, Enock Mwepu looks to have the tools to leave a mark in the Premier League.


Alexis Mac Allister: Arguably came of age during the latter stages of last season, and Albion fans should be excited about his return from the Olympic games.

Despite Argentina falling to Spain, Mac Allister now has the tools to become an influential player in blue and white. Dynamic on the ball, with the ability to pick a pass, Potter will be relying on him to manufacture chances for the forward line.

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Not only will exposure at such a tournament improve him as a player, but the responsibility of representing your country at such an event will put him in good stead when providing the creative spark for Albion.

With one goal and one assist to his name, the 22-year-old will have to up his statistics if he is to prove a prominent figure in the starting XI this season. Last season, he averaged 1.1 shots,

0.8 key dribbles, 18.9 passes, and 0.7 key passes across his 21 Premier League appearances. There’s no doubting his ability but Mac Allister needs to learn from experienced pros such as Adam Lallana to truly stamp his authority in the Premier League.

Robert Sanchez: Fresh from returning from the Euros, Sanchez’s incredible rise shows no sign of stopping in 2021/22. Despite not featuring in the side that narrowly lost to eventual champions Italy in the semi-finals, the learning experience from attending his first major tournament will have further enhanced his game.

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The 23-year-old repaid the faith Potter put into him last season after the former Swansea City boss made the bold decision to drop the previously evergreen Maty Ryan. Since then, Sanchez has made the goalkeeping position his own and is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Sanchez has proved he can implement Potter’s style well by being particularly strong with his feet while possessing the calmness to receive the ball from the defence in front of him.

By being very youthful in goalkeeping terms, it means that Sanchez will enjoy a long and successful Premier League career - hopefully alongside Albion.

Moises Caicedo: The club fended off interest from the likes of Manchester United to secure the signature of the Ecuador international in January, and after half a year to acclimatise to England, Albion fans may see the emergence of a special talent this season.

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The midfielder is still looking to make his debut for the club, but if his previous record is anything to go by then Albion fans are in for a treat. He has shown great composure and ability when playing for Ecuador and even scored in a 4-2 home win over Uruguay in October 2020.

Adam Webster: After recently putting pen to paper on a new bumper contract at the Amex, Adam Webster is ready to fill the void left by Ben White’s departure, and stamp his authority on the Albion backline.

Already a rock in the Albion defence, the 26-year-old will only improve and grow alongside the club. After signing from Bristol City in 2019, he’s gone from strength to strength and the 2021/22 season could be his best yet.

A colossus across the back, with composure on the ball, Webster averaged an 80% pass completion rate last term which helped implement Potter’s free-flowing style of play. He also averaged 1.6 tackles per game, and 2.9 clearances, showing further his strong defensive ability.

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By committing his future to the club, Webster has the potential to follow in the footsteps of his captain Lewis Dunk, and become a Seagulls legend. He’ll be on his way to do just that by helping the club record their highest ever Premier League finish this season.

Tariq Lamptey: After an injury-hit season last term, Albion fans will be looking forward to the composed and exciting performances from Lamptey this season.

The 20-year-old was limited to only 11 appearances last season, but still scored once and registered an assist.

His goal came in the narrow 2-1 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur, and he registered his only assist of the campaign when providing Leandro Trossard with the ball before the Belgian equalised against Chelsea, before his former club ran out 3-1 victors.

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It’s worth noting that it may take Lamptey a small period of time to get back to his best, but Albion fans know he’s certainly worth the wait.

Leandro Trossard: The 2020/21 season could be the Belgium international’s break -out season at the club. Potter will be looking to give Trossard even more opportunities to shine next season, and he can’t afford to pass up any chances.

The 26-year old scored five goals and registered five assists last season, and will be looking to increase those figures. He also averaged 1.7 shots, 1.4 key passes, 0.9 fouls drawn, and 28.5 passes per Premier League match last campaign.

An example of where Trossard took the initiative last season is where his man-of-the-match display inspired Albion to a crucial 3-0 win over Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium. His goal and an assist truly signified how unplayable he was on the day.

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Perhaps Seagulls fans are most looking forward to seeing the development of Trossard this season after an impressive purple patch at the back end of last.

Neal Maupay: The former Brentford striker lost his way somewhat in front of goal last season but will need to refind his goalscoring touch if he is to stay a Seagull.

Eight goals across a Premier League season is by no means a bad return, but examining the squad’s overall xG and related league position in terms of the averages, the pressure was, potentially unfairly, ramped up on the Frenchman as the squad struggled for goals. However, Maupay’s reaction to said pressure may have shown Potter that he may not be dependable.

What may provide a potential consolation to the Frenchman, is that he performed under his xG last season which suggests he’s still found himself in the correct goalscoring positions. His xG read at an average of 13.77 goals, which is five more than his tally last season.

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Only time will tell if Maupay will step up to the goalscoring plate next season, but if Albion fail to sign a recognised goalscorer, then they’ll once again find themselves relying on him to spearhead them up the table.

Lewis Dunk: Albion’s captain fantastic is set for another solid season in the Premier League as he and the club eye an improvement on last season’s 16th placed finish.

Lewis Dunk was unlucky not to feature in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, but perhaps Albion fans only understand his true value.

Dunk will be once again crucial in the heart of the Albion defence. Not only does the 29-year-old perform valiantly when defending his own goal, but he is a constant threat down the other end.

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No match epitomised this more than last season’s 2-1 victory against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium. Dunk opened the scoring by rising highest in the Saints penalty area before powering a header low past Fraser Forster.

Despite Che Adams’s equaliser, Dunk set the foundations with a number of important tackles and blocks before Trossard won it with a composed effort during the second half.

Last season, Dunk averaged 3.2 clearances, one tackle, and one interception per league match. With Dunk’s leadership ability and consistent performances, the club won’t feel the impact of Ben White’s departure too much.

Yves Bissouma: If the Seagulls can maintain the services of Yves Bissouma for at least another season, the possibility of breaking into the league’s top 10 increases.

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The Mali international has become one of the standouts and most influential players in the Albion squad, and it comes as no surprise that some of Europe’s biggest clubs have been sniffing around.

It’s easy to forget that the Rolls Royce of a midfielder is still only 24, with a long career still ahead of him. Last season he utilised his ability to turn defence into attack.

He averaged 2.9 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 1.5 completed dribbles, and an 87.4% pass completion rate, per-match, during the 2020/21 campaign.

What may provide Albion fans with hope is that the club doesn’t need to sell, following Ben White’s £50m transfer to Arsenal. With a club-record fee placed directly into the club’s budget, the club won’t need the similar figure sum it would take for Albion to relinquish their hold on the central midfielder.

White’s transfer may also incentivise Bissouma, showing a strong season could lead to a transfer of his dreams.