Neal Maupay and Graham Potter explain Everton transfer decision ahead of Nottingham Forest and Fulham

Neal Maupay left Brighton yesterday following his reported £12m transfer to Premier League rivals EvertonNeal Maupay left Brighton yesterday following his reported £12m transfer to Premier League rivals Everton
Neal Maupay left Brighton yesterday following his reported £12m transfer to Premier League rivals Everton
Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter will start Premier League life without striker Neal Maupay today as Leeds United visit the Amex Stadium

Maupay has been Albion’s leading scorer for the last three seasons but fell down the pecking order towards the end of last season.

The Frenchman – who had just 12 months remaining on his contract – signed for Everton yesterday for a reported initial fee of £12m, which rise could rise to £15m with add-ons.

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Head coach Graham Potter said, “Neal is keen to play more regular football than we have been able to offer, and Everton are able to give him that opportunity. We could fully understand his position, and the deal represents a good one for all parties involved.

"We appreciate this is an excellent opportunity for Neal and his family, and on behalf of everyone here I would like to thank him for his efforts for the club and wish him all the very best for the future."

Maupay had been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest but Toffees boss Frank Lampard has now secured his signature on a three-year contract.

“Everton is a great club with unbelievable fans and I am so, so happy to be here,” Maupay told evertontv.

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“It feels amazing. It was an easy choice for me when I started to talk with the club. I knew straight away I wanted to play for Everton and help the club to succeed. I’m excited and it’s a new challenge for me.

“I will do everything I can for Everton. That’s what the fans want – they want players that are ready to give their best, and ready to fight

“When I step on the pitch, I will run, I will tackle, I will try to make assists and score goals. Whatever the team needs, I will do it, because I want to be successful and I want my team to win.”

Maupay was not signed in time to face his former club Brentford on Saturday.

Brighton vs Leeds

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Ahead of Leeds, Potter insisted his side are “not getting too excited” after their impressive start.

The Seagulls are unbeaten three games into the season, with wins against Manchester United and West Ham, plus a draw against Newcastle, placing them fifth in the Premier League table.

Potter maintained that the team are not getting too carried away, but has been encouraged by their positive performances so far.

“It’s not a massive sample, it’s three games, so we’re not getting too excited about anything,” he told a press conference.

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“We’re happy with the performance levels we’ve had and, of course, the results have been positive so that’s good, two tough away matches and a game against Newcastle who are in a really good place.

“Performances and results have been really good, credit to the players. I’ve said before they’re honest, humble, respectful of the opponents and try their best to compete and they’re looking forward to the game against another side that has started really well.”