The Strikers Brighton Should Consider Signing to Solve Their Problems Up Front

Sep 10, 2020, 9:45 AM GMT+1
Chris Wood had a successfull loan spell with Brighton as the Seagulls won the League One title in the 2010/11 season
Chris Wood had a successfull loan spell with Brighton as the Seagulls won the League One title in the 2010/11 season | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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Brighton have a striker problem. In fact, they have two striker problems.

The first is a lack of numbers, with just two senior centre forwards in Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly on the books. The second is a lack of variety, with Maupay and Connolly being very similar players.

Graham Potter is surely not expecting to get through the season with two strikers, especially as it looks like 3-5-2 will be his preferred formation with Maupay and Connolly likely to be starting together most weeks. An injury to one coinciding with a red card to the other and Potter could find himself facing at least three Premier League games without a recognised centre forward to choose from. No sane football club takes that risk.

Glenn Murray
Genn Murray has been sent out on loan to Watford | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Brighton clearly need reinforcements, that much we know. Yet there seems little point in them spending many millions of pounds on Connolly Version 2 or Maupay Version 3. The Seagulls require a striker with a skill set which does not involve getting in behind defenders and being a menace. They need a good old fashioned target man, over six feet tall who knows where the goal is.

Which is ironic really, seeing as they have just let Glenn Murray move on a season long loan to Watford. For reasons that nobody seems to understand, Potter did not rate the veteran striker, affording him just seven Premier League starts in 2019/20. In those games, Murray still managed to pop up with a vital goal - the late equaliser in February's breathless 3-3 draw at West Ham - and important assists, such as his flick on which teed up Maupay to give Brighton the lead at Southampton in June.

Having a Murray-type player gave Brighton a different threat, even if Potter was reluctant to use him. With just Maupay and Connolly, the Seagulls are way too predictable. Opponents know that if they can snuff out the threat those two pose, Potter has no way of changing a game because of his lack of options. That was made painfully clear in Brighton's 0-0 friendly draw with West Brom, when the Seagulls had all the possession but were unable to find a way through a stubborn Baggies defence.

Here are five players Potter could turn to in order to give Brighton's striking options the boost they so desperately need.

1. Chris Wood

Burnley were rumoured to be willing to listen to bids in the region of £15 million for Chris Wood earlier in the summer
Burnley were rumoured to be willing to listen to bids in the region of £15 million for Chris Wood earlier in the summer | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Rumours were swirling earlier in the summer surrounding the future of Chris Wood at Burnley, with the Clarets said to be willing to listen to offers in the region of £15m for his services.

That seemed like an extraordinarily low amount for a proven Premier League centre forward with 34 goals in the past three seasons and who, at the age of 28, is in the prime of his career.

Wood would fit the bill perfectly in terms of a Murray replacement. He knows Brighton well, having scored nine times in 31 appearances on loan from West Brom as a 19-year-old when the Seagulls won the League One title in 2010/11.

If Brighton were to move for Wood, it would come with the added bonus of preventing him scoring against them. Since his spell at Withdean a decade ago, Wood has scored against Brighton in the colours of Millwall, Leeds and Burnley. Talk about haunting your former employers.

2. Troy Deeney

Watford captain Troy Deeney has been linked with several moves back to the Premier League from the relegated Hornets
Watford captain Troy Deeney has been linked with several moves back to the Premier League from the relegated Hornets | Pool/Getty Images

Could the ideal replacement for Murray be one of his new teammates at Watford? Troy Deeney is big, strong and has scored goals in the top flight, including ten last season despite playing with injury throughout large parts of the campaign.

In the aftermath of the Hornets relegation from the Premier League, Deeney told The Sun he still considered himself a Premier League striker. West Brom and Tottenham have been linked and Watford are said to be open to loaning their captain to a Premier League club for a year ahead of a reunion in 2021/22, when they hope to have returned to the top flight.

Such an arrangement would be perfect for Brighton. Deeney would provide proven quality at the same time as giving Potter and his recruitment team the breathing space of another year in which to find a longer term solution to their striker problem.

3. Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham may find first team opportunities hard to come by following Chelsea's summer spending spree
Tammy Abraham may find first team opportunities hard to come by following Chelsea's summer spending spree | Pool/Getty Images

With Frank Lampard spending the GDP of a small country on new forwards this summer, Tammy Abraham has gone from scoring 19 times in what appeared to be a breakthrough 2019/20 campaign at Stamford Bridge to being unsure where he fits in at Chelsea in 2020/21.

Spending most of the season sat on the bench would be a regressive move for a striker who needs to be playing ahead of Euro 2020 next summer. If Abraham requires a loan move to get regular first time football, then Brighton would be an excellent fit.

The Seagulls tried to secure his signature in the summer of 2017 but Abraham instead opted to join Swansea. Brighton would be a much more attractive proposition this time around; Potter's style of football would suit Abraham and the Seagulls create plenty of chances - they just need a clinical centre forward to finish them off.

If Abraham needs any further convincing, then a quick look at his former teammate Tariq Lamptey should suffice. Lamptey moved from Chelsea to the Amex Stadium in search of first team football in January. Within just nine matches, he has established himself as Brighton's first choice right back, earned rave reviews and been called up by England Under-21s.

A season by the sea for Abraham would ensure his promising career is not halted by a year picking up splinters at Chelsea. It's unlikely, mind.

4. Odsonne Édouard 

Celtic have slapped a £30m price tag on their French forward Odsonne Édouard 
Celtic have slapped a £30m price tag on their French forward Odsonne Édouard  | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

At 22 years of age, over six feet tall and with 66 goals in 130 games for Celtic, French forward Odsonne Édouard looks to be exactly what Brighton are after.

The only snag is the fee. Celtic have slapped a £30m price tag on Édouard. That is a huge amount for a player who, however talented he may be, has been scoring goals against SPL defences. The Premier League is an entirely different beast.

Could the Seagulls knock down Celtic's asking price? The clubs have a good relationship thanks to the way in which Brighton helped to facilitate Shane Duffy's move to Celtic Park, accepting a loan fee on the lower end of the scale at the same time as continuing to pay nearly 50% of Duffy's wages for the year he will spend in Scotland.

If Celtic wanted to thank Brighton for their generosity, then perhaps they could accept a much more plausible £20m for Édouard? It has got to be worth a try, however unlikely.

5. Sebastian Andersson

Sebastian Andersson scored 14 times in the Bundesliga last season for Union Berlin
Sebastian Andersson scored 14 times in the Bundesliga last season for Union Berlin | Pool/Getty Images

In their first two seasons as a Premier League club, Brighton loved shopping in Europe for new signings. That was until Jurgen Locadia and Alireza Jahanbakhsh flopped at a combined cost of £32m, with the Seagulls turning their attention to the Championship last summer instead.

Should they be brave enough to take a risk on the continent again, then Union Berlin striker Sebastian Andersson looks a good fit. The Swede scored 14 times as Union finished 11th in their first ever season in the Bundesliga.

Andersson has attracted plenty of interest as a result, both from Germany and abroad. Schalke, Celtic, Newcastle, Leeds and West Brom have all been linked and the German football magazine Kicker has claimed that he has a "mid single-digit million euro release clause" said to be around £3.5m.

The Seagulls have already managed to snap up Dutch international Joel Veltman for a bargain £900,000 after triggering a release clause in the defender's Ajax contract; following suit with Andersson could land Potter the striker he needs.

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