Brighton have a Graham Potter-sized hole in their dugout, and they ought to fill it swiftly.
Potter has been confirmed as the successor to Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, signing a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
Having a big side with plenty of money poach your rather cool and very tactically adept manager isn't a fun prospect at the best of times, so for Brighton to fall victim to that very thing just seven games into the 2022/23 season puts them in a difficult position.
The 47-year-old worked wonders during his time in charge of the Seagulls. Joining from Swansea in 2019, Potter very quickly turned Brighton into one of the Premier League's most impressive sides, playing expansive football and dominating the opposition as they climbed the Premier League table with brilliant tactics and shrewd recruitment.
But all good things must come to an end, and the reality is Brighton should've been expecting his inevitable departure. In the event that they weren't, though, we've decided to pull together a shortlist of candidates who could succeed Potter in the hot seat, ranking them from worst to best.
We've identified the following managers as potential suitors:
- Ange Postecoglou
- Steve Cooper
- Brendan Rodgers
- Sean Dyche
- Bo Svensson
- Kieran McKenna
- Kjetil Knutsen
- Russell Martin
- Nathan Jones
With that in mind, let's see how they've ranked.
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10. Kieran McKenna
Look, McKenna has started brilliantly at Ipswich and has Premier League pedigree - sort of - from his time at Manchester United.
But throwing him in at the deep end feels a little far fetched. Give it another year and then we can talk.
9. Matthias Jaissle
Jaissle is 34 years old and is already making strides in top level football management, plying his trade in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg.
He's got the fancy dress sense, he's an obscure pick and he's tactically tuned. The issue? He probably wouldn't leave for Brighton. A move to RB Leipzig feels inevitable.
8. Ange Postecoglou
Postecoglou took over at Celtic just last year but has already boosted his stock, winning the league title last season and the Scottish League Cup.
Football fans outside of the Scottish game are now catching onto him as Celtic play in the Champions League this season, although it feels unlikely that he'd jump ship for Brighton so soon into his reign in Glasgow.
7. Sean Dyche
They wouldn't, would they? Surely not.
Brighton would go from playing some of the most progressive football in the league to the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Dyche would steady the ship, but at a pretty hefty cost of undoing lots of hard work.
6. Russell Martin
For the sake of continuity, Brighton could go back and poach another manager from Swansea in the form of Russell Martin.
Martin would of course want the chance to manage in the Premier League and would fit in with the ethos of the club, but there may be more ambitious options available for Brighton to pursue.
5. Steve Cooper
Nottingham Forest haven't had a hugely strong start to the season upon their return to the Premier League, but they trust in Cooper. You'd like to think they do anyway.
The likelihood is that it could be difficult to snap him up right now, but the door isn't shut. And if Brighton could get a hold of him, he'd be a pretty perfect fit for the club.
4. Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers' stock has fallen alongside Leicester's decline in the last 12 months or so, but when he's on it, he can take a team seriously far.
If he's dismissed by Leicester and available for work, Brighton picking him as the outside bet wouldn't be the worst appointment they could make. Far from it.
3. Nathan Jones
Another Championship pick, Jones very nearly took Luton Town to the Premier League last season and did so with limited resources and while playing wonderful football.
It's a risk, sure, but one that would certainly be worth taking. Brighton could well prize him away from the Hatters.
2. Kjetil Knutsen
Who? Exactly. That's why he's perfect.
The Norwegian has risen to prominence while managing FK Bodo/Glimt. That CV and that name just screams Brighton, doesn't it? Don't be shocked to see it happen.
1. Bo Svensson
It's ambitious - very ambitious - but what a coup if Brighton could pull it off.
Svensson has turned around the fortunes of Mainz dramatically. Once relegated threatened, they currently sit fifth in the Bundesliga and he's being talked up as the one to watch in Europe. It feels like he's got a huge future ahead of him. Potentially a match made in heaven.