On Monday, Brighton paid a fee of around £20million to Brentford to sign prolific French forward Neal Maupay. The 22-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the team from the south coast.
The 22-year-old has a fast-growing reputation in the English game after scoring 41 goals in 95 Championship appearances for the Bees. Last season he finished joint-top of the scoring charts in the second tier with 25 goals. The striker had previously been linked with a move to top-flight new boys Aston Villa. However, he has now found a new home on the south coast.
Brighton really need goals
The biggest problem for Brighton in the top-flight was scoring goals. Only the three relegated teams scored fewer goals than the Seagulls in the top-flight last season. The prior season they also struggled to find the back of the net.
In fact, they were slightly fortunate that the likes of Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield were so impotent in front of goal. One of the priorities this summer was to sign a goalscorer. Although Maupay is young, he is a big threat to opposition defences and has big potential. He has been capped by his country up to under-21 level, which shows his potential.
A step up in class for the youngster
No doubt there is a big difference between scoring goals in the Championship and scoring goals in the Premier League. Many players have been prolific in front of goal in the lower leagues, only to fail in the top-flight.
As Brighton boss Graham Potter has already stated, it will be a challenge for the forward to make the step up in leagues and still be prolific. He looks like a youngster who can learn and develop though, so he may well thrive in the English top-flight.
If he can hit the ground running in those early favourable games for the Seagulls, then no doubt he will enjoy a successful campaign with his new club.
Players will need time to adapt to change of style
Graham Potter’s style of play is far more adventurous than that of predecessor Chris Hughton. The players will need time to adjust to Potter’s football philosophy. However, the signings of Maupay and also Leandro Trossard are exciting ones.
The Seagulls are one of the favourites to suffer relegation. If the new signings click though, then the team from the south coast may well be able to avoid the fight for survival this season. Everybody connected with the club will be hoping for a slightly less tense campaign this time around. The football under Potter should be far easier on the eye than under the pragmatic Hughton anyway.
The club’s hierarchy must have wanted to move the team in a different direction. This is their third straight season in the top-flight, so they should be looking to progress and not just survive through sheer defensive stubbornness. The signing of Maupay looks to be a good one from the outside looking in. Only time will tell if he will be able to reproduce his Championship goalscoring form in the English top-flight.
Will Neal Maupay be a success at Brighton?