Johnny Cantor: Would significant changes be needed for the top flight?

It may only be until tonight but Albion have moved up into the top two automatic promotion places.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 7:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:54 am
Lewis Dunk. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst

A narrow 1-0 win but the Seagulls will take a few more in the hope that the Premier League will be their home next season. Some fans were desperately trying not to get carried away after the victory but others were already contemplating a year in the top flight.

One question posed to us on the show on Tuesday night was how many of the current side would be able to make it in the Premier League. It is of course impossible to know for sure whether the individuals in Chris Hughton’s current squad would sustain a successful campaign. There are relatively inexperienced youngsters and a few ageing campaigners, as well as some in their prime. At first sight, some may feel that significant changes would be required but when you examine the squad there is a case to be made that many, or even most, can handle the step up. The main justification would come from what has happened this season at clubs that rose to the top last year and appear to be safe from relegation.

Albion supporters will be more familiar with some of the players of Watford and Bournemouth than some of the Match of the Day viewers on a Saturday night. It’s fair to say Eddie Howe spent money bringing in the likes of Benik Afobe but in Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, Adam Smith and even ex Seagull Steve Cook, they have players who some may have thought would struggle.

However, they are technically sound and have a desire and team spirit that has helped the team succeed. When you look at Albion’s Lewis Dunk, Connor Goldson and Dale Stephens, they too have the hunger and a few others like Anthony Knockaert and Beram Kayal have had a taster of big games.

The club also has an astute manager. If, and of course it is if, they were to be successful in the Premier League they would most likely need a striker who can deliver more goals, especially against top level defenders, but the ingredients for a sustained period with the elite of English football may already be in the cupboard.

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