Graham Potter explains Leandro Trossard's best role – plus £4m new arrival 'excites' ahead of Manchester United
Brighton and Hove Albion concluded pre-season with a 5-1 thrashing of Spanish La Liga side, Espanyol. Here’s everything we learnt about the Seagulls’ last outing before facing Manchester United this Sunday.
Leandro Trossard is deadly coming inside off the left-wing:
Trossard picked up a very well-deserved man of the match award against Espanyol. After floating a brilliant ball into Lewis Dunk for Brighton’s second goal, the Belgian went on to score a hat-trick himself.
“He’s got the quality,” said Potter post-match. “He likes that role off the left because he can come in centrally on his right foot and score.
"Sometimes if you have the same sided players in those positions, it’s not easy to play centrally so he gives you that option.”
Against Espanyol, the 27-year-old scored all three of his goals by drifting from the left into the centre. Trossard has played the more central role in the past, but by making this shift, not only does he become a threat to pre-occupied central defenders, the opposition full back is also forced out of position and gives the likes of Marc Cucurella the chance to overlap.
If Trossard is given that freedom, Brighton’s search for a player that can break past the 10-goal mark may be over.
Solly March and Pascal Gross have formed a great partnership
The partnership of March and Gross must be one of the most underrated aspects of Brighton’s side.
Aside from Gross’ assist to Adam Webster from a corner, neither of them contributed to any of Brighton’s five goals against Espanyol.
However, they were a constant headache for opposition manager Diego Martinez.
Speaking on their superb link-play after the match, Potter said: “They know each other well and have a nice non-verbal communication which allowed them to get down that right-hand side really well.”
Throughout the first half, their ability to retain possession and create chances was un-matched.
Omar El Hilali, Espanyol’s left-back, struggled so much that he was taken off at half-time. Despite neither of them being the quickest, it seems their experience on the ball allows them to be extremely reliable.
Kaoru Mitoma continued to excite Brighton fans
After a one-season loan spell at Belgian side Union Saint Gilloise, Mitoma is finally back with the Brighton first team and fans have loved it already.
“He’s got that ability to go by someone one versus one,” said Potter on the Japanese winger. “He’s done it to our players, he stands them up and goes round them which isn’t so common.
"But that’s his quality and hopefully he’ll feature this season.”
Brighton initially signed Mitoma from Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale for around £4m before loaning him back out. In Japan, Mitoma scored 28 goals and registered 21 assists in 77 league games whilst also winning three domestic trophies.
Against Espanyol, Mitoma was met with great applauds from Seagulls fans and looked promising when brought on down the left-wing.
The Japan international brings something different to Brighton’s side that their other dribblers don’t seem to have.
At 25, Mitoma could play an exciting role in Brighton’s upcoming campaign.