With the 2022-23 Premier League campaign edging ever closer, clubs up and down the country have been working hard to strengthen their squads for the upcoming season. However, whilst some supporters may feel encouraged by the signings their clubs have made so far, others may be feeling as though their clubs have been rather inactive in the summer window and possibly fearing the worst for the upcoming campaign.
But just how good will Brighton’s summer business prove to be? In this article, Brighton’s key additions and departures will be ranked, allowing an insight into just how successful the Seagulls have been in this year’s summer transfer window.
Departure: Yves Bissouma
Arguably the most influential departure so far this summer for the Seagulls is that of Mali International Yves Bissouma. The 25-year-old midfielder departed Brighton for Tottenham Hotspur in June for a fee of £25 million, having made 124 appearances for the Seagulls. Bissouma clearly played an influential role in Brighton’s midfield last season, having made 1,187 passes in the entirety of the 2022-23 league campaign, whilst averaging just over 45 passes per match. However, it cannot be forgotten that Bissouma only managed to achieve a combined total of 3 goals and assists in last season’s league campaign, a worrying statistic for a player of his calibre. Alongside this, the club have great midfield talent within their ranks in the form of Enock Mwepu and Moisés Caicedo, meaning that, whilst important, the departure of Yves Bissouma is not the end of the world for Brighton.
Woodwork rating: 7/10
Loan Departure: Aaron Connolly
Alongside the departure of Bissouma, Brighton have allowed a handful of players to depart on loan, including that of Republic of Ireland international Aaron Connolly. The 22-year-old forward, remembered most fondly by Brighton supporters for his performance against Tottenham in 2019, departed the Seagulls in July for Italian Serie B club Venezia, where he will spend the entirety of the 2022-23 league campaign on loan. This is not the first time Connolly has been sent on loan by the Seagulls; The young forward spent the second half of the 2021-22 campaign on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough. Whilst there may be a minority of supporters who are disappointed with Connolly’s loan departure, it must be acknowledged that the young forward has failed to flatter for some time. Connolly was only able to register 2 goals in 19 league appearances for Middlesbrough last season, a disappointing statistic given his impressive start to the 2019-20 campaign with Brighton, as supporters of the Seagulls will remember. Whilst there is still potential for Connolly to come good, it seems as though a loan deal is the correct move for both club and player at this time.
Woodwork rating: 5/10
Arrival: Julio Enciso
Whilst Brighton have admittedly been unable to land a large number of signings, the Seagulls have been successful in securing the signing of Julio Enciso. The 18-year-old Paraguayan forward signed for the south coast club in June for a fee of £9.5 million, following a successful season with his former club Libertad. Enciso clearly played an influential role for his former side; the young forward recorded a combined 14 goals and assists in 14 appearances for Libertad in the side’s most recent league campaign. Alongside this, the young forward looks to be a promising star for the future, having already been capped five times by his country. However, it cannot be forgotten that the upcoming league campaign would be Enciso’s first outside of Paraguay. Despite being a promising talent, it is likely that it will take some time for the young forward to adapt to Premier League football, meaning the signing of Enciso does little to create a headache for Graham Potter with regards to his starting striker in the upcoming season. Similar to Connolly, there is still plenty of time ahead of Enciso to make a name for himself, however it’s likely that this transfer has been made far too early.
Woodwork rating: 4/10
Arrival from Loan: Deniz Undav
As mentioned earlier, Brighton have had a handful of players return to the club following loan deals in the previous campaign. However, a vast majority of Brighton fans would argue that the most influential of players returning to the club is Turkish forward Denis Undav. The 26-year-old striker initially signed for the Seagulls in January from Union Saint-Gilloise, however was sent back to the Belgian side to complete the second half of the season on loan. The 2021-22 league campaign appeared to be a great success for Undav, having recorded 27 goals and 13 assists in 41 appearances, earning himself the Jupiler Pro League player of the season award. With such impressive statistics as these, it is difficult to imagine that there wouldn’t be a headache for Graham Potter with regards to the striker position. Alongside this, it must be argued that Brighton are in desperate need for a proven goalscorer; the Seagulls ranked in the bottom five for goals scored in the Premier League last season with just 42 goals, a worrying statistic given Brighton’s ambitions of finishing in the top half of the table. Therefore, given Undav’s clear ability in converting, his return to Brighton looks to be an important one if the Seagulls are to improve on their previous league campaign.
Woodwork rating: 9/10
Overall rating: 5/10
Whilst Brighton may not have made any ‘big name’ signings, the Seagull’s summer business could certainly be far worse. Although the possibility of achieving a higher league finish than the previous campaign seems difficult, it must be remembered that a ball is yet to be kicked in the 2022-23 league campaign, giving Graham Potter’s Seagulls plenty of time to prove doubters wrong once more.