The major Neal Maupay concern that could haunt Graham Potter if Nottingham Forest, Fulham or Everton get their way

Ian Hart gives his verdict on Neal Maupay’s likely move to Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest
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By Ian Hart

It was a goalless 90 minutes in Saturday’s Amex opener against Newcastle, but one man who probably couldn’t have broken the deadlock was last season’s leader scorer, Neal Maupay.

The Frenchman didn’t even make the bench amidst reports Albion had accepted a £15m bid from Premier League ‘new boys’ Nottingham Forest.

Brighton striker Neal Mauapy looks set to leave for one of Albion's Premier League rivalsBrighton striker Neal Mauapy looks set to leave for one of Albion's Premier League rivals
Brighton striker Neal Mauapy looks set to leave for one of Albion's Premier League rivals
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However as this week began, both Fulham and Everton also joined in the hunt for the frontman.

I’ve never made a secret of the fact in this column, that I’m a huge admirer of Maupay.

Yes, he is a tad fiery, he has underperformed at times, but ultimately has he really been given a fair crack of the whip by Graham Potter?

In 102 EPL games, he’s scored 26 goals, equal to current top flight club record holder Glenn Murray, but according to the official League stats, he’s missed a further 26 ‘big’ chances as well as three missed penalties.

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As frequently seen on numerous school reports from my youth, the phrase “Could do better” immediately springs to mind but then again, the Albion have also seen at lot worse from more than one striker over the years.

Unfortunately, no amount of me waxing lyrical about our very own ‘Marmite’ is going to change Potter’s mind, he wants shot of Maupay and £15m from whoever finally secures him during his last year of his Albion contract is an added bonus.

However, with his imminent departure, there are two other prevalent thoughts.

Is Maupay simply not good enough to feature in Potter’s long term plan? This would be confirmed if he fails at his next club, but what if he finds form in his next shirt?

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With 36 games left on the fixture list, what if he gets into double figures for this season, would it be classed as a Potter mistake?

Not if, and moving on to my second point, the Albion delve into the transfer market themselves and effectively replace Maupay before the transfer window shuts.

Hopefully with Maupay, unfortunately much to the delight to a large number of fans, half way out the door – who knows if Potter is a couple of moves ahead and already has a replacement lined up?

That said, thank you Neal! I enjoyed watching you and you very quickly overtook Sacha Distel as my favourite Frenchman.

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He famously equalised with a spectacular overhead kick at the death against West Ham last December but clearly won’t be playing this Sunday when the Albion return to the London Stadium.

Prediction time: 2-1 to the Albion and the unbeaten 10 game streak against the Hammers to continue.

Elsewhere at the weekend, Anthony Joshua has a second shot at redemption in Jeddah this Saturday, as he tries to retake the multiple heavyweight titles he lost to Oleksandr Usyk last September.

Unfortunately for the British Boxing public the fight isn’t at Tottenham or even Wembley as it really should be, the Saudis have waved their cheque book and, as always, money talks.

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That said, I will be tuning in, as it’s a fascinating contest, I’ve been admirer of AJ since I saw him fight live in the London Olympics a decade ago, but this really is the crossroads fight of his career.

With Tyson Fury ‘retired’ anything less than victory for AJ is career defining. Defeat puts him down the pecking order and potentially being offered smaller purses against ‘lesser’ opponents.

Ultimately if he does lose on Saturday, he has enough money not to need to enter the ring ever again.

Not fence sitting, just merely being pragmatic, if AJ doesn’t knock Usyk out I don’t think he can win, and that’s a huge ‘if’.

I hope he does, and then Fury ‘U turns’ his retirement plans and we get ‘The Fight’, but unfortunately my head still says Usyk on points.