Brighton building their bridge to Premier League promotion
It’s 9th July, and Brighton & Hove Albion have already signed Bruno Saltor, Tomasz Kuszczak and Wayne Bridge. Vicente is on the brink of signing a contract extension, as well as strong rumours that the hottest English prospect in Jordan Rhodes is on his way to the south. If you’re a Brighton fan like myself, this just seems to good to be true.
After an overachieving season last year, finishing 10th whilst also knocking out Newcastle and Sunderland in the Carling Cup, expectation for this year is high. With such an improved squad already after just 9 days into the transfer window, combined with a year of Championship experience and the new stadium inviting a further 5,000 fans after this summers building work, it’s exciting times.
Tomasz Kuszczak has come in and will fill arguably our weakest point of last season. We never really had a settled keeper, with Peter Brezovan and Casper Ankergren constantly being rotated in the hope that one of them would finally stop making stupid errors. Two established full-backs also join the squad: Bruno Saltor from Valencia and Wayne Bridge from Manchester City help add solidity to the defence that was often found out through the wings last season. These two along with the centre back pairing of Gordon Greer and Adam El-Abd, who has recently been called up to the Egypt squad, will be part of a potentially unbreakable back four.
Vicente is expected to sign an extension to his contract within the next few weeks and if he stays fit, he could play a huge role in how well Brighton do in the forthcoming season. When he signed last summer, the entire league sat up. I couldn’t quite believe it myself, once one of the world’s best left wingers, who had once received a bid of 35,000,000 from Real Madrid, had signed for Brighton on a free. But once again, injury halted his season last year so had limited chances.
Kazenga Lua-Lua, Will Buckley and Craig Noone will most likely fill the wide berths again after all three had impressive seasons last year, with Craig Mackail-Smith spear heading the attack, unless Jordan Rhodes signs, or any other striker. As much as Craig Mackail-Smith works hard and had an outstanding season before last, he failed to make an impact last campaign with only 9 goals in 45 games.
And last but not least, Gus Poyet. Slowly turning into a club hero, he’s done a great job here, which has in turn warranted interest from Premier League clubs. Having not long ago signed a lengthy contract, he’s here for the long run, the run which us Brighton fans now expect to finish in the Premier League.