Out of contract in 2021: Three Premier League stars ready to boost Brighton's starting XI

Brighton’s win at Elland Road helped the Seagulls climb to 16th spot in the Premier League table, leapfrogging Burnley ahead of their clash at Anfield on Thursday.

Demarai Gray has struggled for game time at Leicester and is out of contract in 2021
Demarai Gray has struggled for game time at Leicester and is out of contract in 2021

Potter rotated personnel against Leeds and surprisingly decided to leave out Yves Bissouma, who has arguably been Albion’s most consistent performer this season.

However, credit to Potter’s team selection, Brighton managed to marshal Leeds effectively during the first hour of play, and the Malian midfielder later added an injection of energy towards the latter stages of the game.

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Whilst Brighton fans are accustomed to Potter rotating regularly throughout a season, there is a lack of depth in a number of positions.

Firstly, despite looking much more comfortable alongside Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster at the base of defence in recent outings, Dan Burn has somewhat struggled when playing as an out and out left back.

Brighton would also benefit from another wide player or inside forward to rotate with Leandro Trossard. The Belgian often adds an extra dimension to Albion’s attack which is tricky to replace; his surging, penetrative run against Leeds nearly doubled Brighton’s advantage, but for the woodwork.

Potter may not feel comfortable emptying his pockets on high-profile players in January, but the Seagulls’ boss could swoop for a number of experienced Premier League stars who are out of favour and out of contract in the summer.

Since the Bosman ruling in 1995, players can sign for new clubs up to six months before the expiry of their contracts.

Whilst the following players couldn’t feature for Albion until the end of the season, this could be an affordable way of constructing a seasoned Premier League squad on a budget.

Left back

Both Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt and Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose have yet to sign new deals with their respective London clubs, and are currently starved of regular first team football.

Eagles’ youth prospect Tyrick Mitchell has kept van Aanholt out of Hodgson’s favoured starting line-up this season, and the former Chelsea and Sunderland fullback is welcome to leave Selhurst Park, according to reports.

Although Ajax currently lead the race, Brighton could be viewed as a favourable destination for van Aanholt: he’d be able to remain in the Premier League at a club close to his current home.

Palace’s No. 3 has proven his attacking potential from the left-back position in recent years, and his style would suit Brighton’s back five system, as it would allow him licence to roam forward. Before the 2020/2021 campaign, van Aanholt registered an impressive 11 goals in 3 seasons for Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, after being left out of Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League and Europa League squads, Danny Rose has struggled to prove his worth since the arrival of Jose Mourinho.

The former England international is now destined to leave Spurs permanently in the summer and has been linked to various La Liga clubs, as well as Sam Allardyce’s West Brom.

As Rose has played over a decade in the Premier League, his dressing room experience would be an added bonus to Brighton’s squad. Summer arrivals Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana, who formerly shared the pitch with Rose on international duty, could be used to lure the left-back to the Amex and provide some much-needed cover in that position.

Demarai Gray

Another Englishman out of contract in the summer is Demarai Gray of Leicester City, who is still only 24 years of age. Seemingly nearing an exit, Gray has only managed two appearances in all competitions this season, and the Foxes look happy to cut ties with the winger, having chosen not to extend his contract before the start of the January transfer window.

Although the youngster has struggled for consistency at Leicester, he has often been deployed as an impact substitute, capable of running at defenders with speed and natural flair. His direct style of play could prove a useful commodity in Brighton’s attack, and if Potter were able to harness his untapped potential, Gray could prove an excellent giveaway.