Brighton and Hove Albion finished 15th in the table and confirmed their Premier League safety after a historic win against Manchester United.
However, there is a lot of room for improvement. Brighton’s centre-back pairing of Dunk and Duffy shined, new signing Pascal Gross hit the ground running and Glenn Murray came up with the goals.
The Seagulls have already signed defender Leon Balogun, who can play anywhere across the back, to add some much-needed cover. They have also signed Florin Andone to add more firepower up front along with last season’s signing Jurgen Locadia.
Locadia rarely featured last season so expect him to score a few after he finally settles in. Improvements are required in midfield and in the wings. Here are 3 players who Brighton can sign to achieve a top-10 finish next season.
Paddy McNair is a Manchester United academy graduate who featured under Louis van Gaal. He had no future under Jose Mourinho and hence he left for Sunderland.
The Black Cats have suffered back to back relegation now and McNair is a player that was among the better performers this past season. Talks between the two clubs are on and Albion have bid £2million for the Northern Irishman with Sunderland wanting more.
McNair was originally a no-nonsense central defender at Old Trafford but has transformed himself into a central midfielder at the Stadium of Light. He is a physical beast, strong and an energetic runner.
He scored 5 goals in 16 appearances last season as he became one of the most important players of the team in the latter parts of the season. It is the first time since his move to Sunderland that he has played regularly and has put in solid performances.
He has impressed at the International level too and should claw his way back into the Premier League with a move to the Amex Stadium. He will be an important player at Brighton, joining the likes of Dale Stephens and Davy Propper in central midfield. He will add an extra dimension to that midfield by being the ball winner.
Brighton and Hove Albion need wingers. Jose Izquierdo and Anthony Knockaert are the only two recognised wingers. Izquierdo had a good first season while Knockaert’s end product was not the best. Franco Cervi is a name that has been linked with a move to the Amex Stadium. Franco Cervi currently plays for Portuguese club Benfica and is rated at £20million.
Cervi is an Argentinian wonder kid and has gained a lot of attention because of his excellent performances. He bagged 3 goals and 8 assists in the league along with registering 2 key passes and a dribble per game on average.
He is fouled 2.4 times per game, which shows that defenders can’t easily deal with this trickster. He also registers 1.3 crosses per game which will help the strikers, especially Murray. His defensive contribution and work rate is also high as he makes 2.2 tackles per game.
His deliveries from dead ball situations are almost spot on. Cervi is now ready to take the next step in his career and what better than a move to the Premier League?
Another central midfielder Chris Hughton should look to sign is Thomas Delaney. Delaney is a talented central midfielder who enjoyed a stellar season with German side Werder Bremen.
He has been linked with Brighton and Hove Albion and a deal could be completed if Brighton fork out £16.8million. The midfielder has said that he is open to a move to England and wants a deal done before the World Cup.
The Danish midfielder has all the traits necessary to thrive in the Premier League. He covers a lot of ground, is reliable, rarely commits errors, makes crucial tackles, can build up the play and directly contributed to 7 goals in the league last term.
He is a technical player who is good in the air as well, winning 3.7 aerial duels per game. Defensively, Delaney makes 2.5 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.1 clearances per game. Offensively, he has a passing accuracy of 72%, one key pass and 3 long balls per game.
He could be another shrewd signing like Pascal Gross. He will add stability in the middle of the park and allow the attackers to flourish by protecting the defence.