Brighton has only just begun this season’s transfer business. Every team’s transfer news is available from our Premier League Team Primer! We’ll link to all our transfer write-ups and the latest Brighton transfer news! If you believe the hype around this transfer window, you should probably visit often (nudge nudge). Typically, I don’t provide as much of a write-up on players returning from loan, but I’m really excited about the crop of youngsters that Brighton has found.
Brighton incoming transfers:
Leandro Trossard ($23M Transfer from KRC Genk): The 24-year old Belgian winger has been an enormous part of Genk’s Jupiler League championship run. He would appear in 47 of the 57 games Genk would play in this season, where he would provide 22 goals and 11 assists. Keep in mind when looking at Trossard’s numbers, that he also played with the top-scorer who would appear in 7 more games, scoring 32 goals along with five assists. Considering that the entire squad would score 63 goals on the season, Trossard was responsible for nearly half of the total production. He’s a natural left winger, which is not a position Brighton frequently played with tactically last season. However, when they did play in that formation (nine times), the left winger position was occupied by Jürgen Locadia. Trossard should be a monstrous upgrade from Locadia, and I either expect to see him here or alongside Glenn Murray.
Matt Clarke ($4.5M transfer from Portsmouth/Loan to Derby): This 22-year old youngster is no stranger to the first team. The fourth-place Portsmouth team started Clarke every game in the backline, where would proceed to play every moment available. In 46 league matches, Portsmouth would keep eleven clean sheets. In addition, he also helped on the offensive side of things ending up adding three goals and an assist. The new Brighton manager wasted no time in bringing the young center back into the club. Duffy and Dunk have held down the defensive positions for Brighton, so I’m interested to see how exactly Clarke fits into the side, perhaps Potter will try him out on the left or ride side of the defense as well. Update: Clarke has been sent on loan to Championship side Derby.
Billy Arce (return from loan transfer): Arce is returning to Brighton FC from a mostly unsuccessful loan spell with Emelec in Ecuador. He only featured in six matches for the side, but in the roughly 300 minutes he played he scored two goals and provided an assist. After a loan like that, I am not really convinced that he’ll waltz into this club even before the Trossard signing. He’s young, but if he can’t make the Ecuadorian first tier, he’s got a long ways to go.
Percy Tau (return from loan):
Caveat: Tau is not currently eligible for a UK work permit although if South Africa were to make a deep run in the Cup of Nations, he could have a chance (South Africa would have to be ranked 50th or better in the FIFA world rankings). His other opportunity would be to gain points as a member of a UEFA Champions League or a Europa League Team.
Tau was one of the rare summer window transfers for Brighton FC last season. He went on loan to a second-tier Belgian side, where he would make an appearance in 23 of 28 possible games. He spent most of the season playing in a second-striker role for the club and provided seven assists and six goals in his 23 games. Tau can play basically anywhere on the opponent’s side of midfield as an attacking midfielder (left, right, or center) or as a striker. This might give him some hope of staying home to play with Potters’ first team, but it will depend a lot on the pre-season workouts. Tau has been touted as a player with immense potential, but he hasn’t yet reached the expectations, but he’s only 25, so there is still time. Update: Tau was unable to secure a UK work permit and has gone in loan to Clube Brugge”
Ezequiel Schelotto (return from loan): Schelotto is going to be an interesting case for Potter. Brighton FC made about $3.5M to get in him 2017 where he’s since been on loan. With the departure of the club-captain Bruno, I wonder if Schelotto will get his chance at right back? That said, it’s probably not a great sign that Schelotto was only able to make four appearances for his loan side, Chievo Verona. His lack of playing time is especially concerning in the context that the team had a goal differential of -50 and was relegated from the first division. Ultimately, I think that Schelotto is likely to just play out the final season on his contract with Brighton in relative obscurity. It will be a substantial downgrade to move from Bruno to Schelotto if they have any choice in the matter.
Alexis Mac Allister (return from loan):
Caveat: Mac Allister is not currently eligible for a work permit. His national team is ranked high enough but he hasn’t made enough appearances. He would need to earn some international call-ups or go on loan a Europa or Champions League club.
Mac Allister is yet another of the crop of talented youngsters being cultivated by the club. Like most of the others, he is also another product of what’s looking to be a fantastic winter transfer window. He was also loaned back to his former club as part of the transfer deal Argentinos Juniors where he appeared in 16 of 25 league matches. He provided five goals and no assists for the club, although the club finished in last place in the league. Keeping in mind that his loan club only scored 15 goals in those 25 games, it makes his five goals look far better. Perhaps if he were to improve the quality around the supporting cast, it would improve his numbers as well. Hoping to further raise his stature, Graham Potter, has sent him out to Boca Juniors for the season.
Jan Mlakar (return from loan): Mlakar is another of the bright young players that the Seagulls have managed to acquire. Mlakar (like Baluta), will return to the club for the first time after his winter acquisition and subsequent loan-back. He has yet to break into the Slovenian national team. However, he’s broken into the Slovenian champions, Maribor, first team. He took part in 26 of their 36 league games and scored 13 goals with two assists as well. He averaged a goal every 135 minutes for the Slovenian top-flight team, considering goalscoring is a significant concern for Brighton FC. The 20-year old may have a future with Brighton FC in the Premier League sooner than anyone anticipated. However, he will have some serious competition for a spot in the Brighton FC first-team from players like Alireza and Percy Tau. Though, his pace could undoubtedly be an asset for the team and star-striker Glenn Murray. Update: Mlakar has gone on loan to QPR.
Markus Suttner (return from loan/Undisclosed transfer to Fortuna Düsseldorf): I am not a firm believer that Suttner is likely to establish himself in the first team. He is under contract with the Premier League for one more season, and I imagine he will leave at that time. In the meantime, I would not be surprised if he’s back out on loan. In half a season with Fortuna Dusseldorf, he only managed six Bundesliga appearances. I would not be surprised to see him go out on loan to a Championship or League One side. Update: As I expected, Suttner left the team for Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Tudor Baluta (return from loan): The Romanian 20-year old youngster had been bought for about $3M from FC Viitorul in January but was loaned back to the club. He is set to return to Brighton FC for the first time since joining the club. He played in the first team for 21 of the 26 opportunities in the Romanian “regular season.” He would go on to play in six of the ten playoff games for the side. As primarily a defensive midfielder, he’s not tasked with scoring many goals, although he did provide two this season. In addition to his success at the club level, the 20-year old has almost received five call-ups to the senior National team. The Turkish side, Besiktas, is said to be scouting the youngster for a transfer from Brighton FC. He could provide some depth in defense or the midfield, but his real value for Brighton might come in the defensive midfield. Brighton struggled mightily in the Premier League this season conceding sixty goals. Partly because the team struggled mightily to clear the ball, Baulta may provide some assistance here by playing between the defense and the midfield. At the least, I think if the Seagulls continue to get him regular playing time (either with them or on loan) the transfer fee for his services will only increase.
Brighton FC outgoing transfers:
Richie Towell (Free Transfer): The 27-year old Irishman has really struggled to become a regular part of any team he’s been a part of since turning professional. While at Celtic, he would go on loan several times to Hibernian but would eventually bounce from club to club on free transfers. Most recently, Towell spent two years in the Championship with Rochester on loan from Burnley. However, this move seems like the best for all parties as it will allow Towell a chance to establish himself in the first team. Burnley will likely look to add depth to the side in other ways.
Bruno Saltor Grau “Bruno” (Retired): Bruno joined the club in July of 2012 on a free transfer from Spanish-side Valencia. Subsequently, he joined the Gulls and would go on to record over 230 performances and become club captain. He has been one of the critical cogs over the past few years although his game time has slowly been decreasing. Bruno had a fantastic run at Brighton, but at 38-years old, it’s probably for the best that he hangs up his boots.
Ales Mateju (Undisclosed to Brescia): The right back spent the previous season on loan at Brescia and apparently did enough to force the Italian side into making a move to secure his services. He would feature 22 times for the side in the Serie B en route to an automatic promotion to Serie A. He played the bulk of the minutes for the side, and they seem to think he’s of quality enough to tie down a spot in the Serie A team. Without knowing all the details of the transfer, it’s hard to make an assessment on it. It’s especially difficult given that the starting right back from the last season (and club captain) still has a vacancy. However, I assume that if the board had reservations about the move they’d have voice them, which leads me to believe that they feel they already have better or… wait for it… they are planning to acquire better.
Christian Walton (Loan to Blackburn): Walton joined the club as a youngster from the Plymouth U18 before joining Brighton’s academy. Despite having been with the club since early 2013, he’s made 4 appearances for the first team. During those appearances, he allowed three goals but kept two clean sheets. Despite those appearances, he’s mostly been out on loan between Wigan Athletic and Luton Town (and Brighton’s U23 team). He’s now gone out on loan to Blackburn in the Championship where he may either end his Brighton career or earn himself a new contract. There is still time for the 23-year old goalkeeper to earn himself a deal.
Viktor Gyökeres (Loan to FC St. Pauli): Gyökeres joined the club about eighteen months ago for a small fee (~$1M). He subsequently has gone on to FC St. Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga, but he has made no appearance for the club. He has done well with his time in the Swedish Superettan (second-division) and the Premier League reserves. This should be a substantial increase in quality of opponent (and teammates), if he can replicate his past successes he’ll likely work himself into a position with the squad.
Anthony Knockaert (Loan to Fulham): Knockaert joined up with the Seagulls from Standard Liege for nearly $4M back in 2016. He has already made 139 appearances for the first team scoring 27 goals and 25 assists. I’m actually kind of surprised about this loan after his regular appearances for Brighton. He would go on to make 36 appearances across all competitions with four goals and seven assists. I’m apt to believe that there is an expectation of Knockaert playing in a key role for the Championship side. Knockaert appeared for an average of just under 70 minutes each time he stepped onto the pitch in the Seagulls jersey.
Leo Östigard (Loan to FC St. Pauli): Östigard brought the young central defender into the team for an undisclosed fee nearly one year ago. He spent the year with the reserves where he only made intermittent appearances for that team. The young defender suffered a torn muscle injury and would go on loan to the FC St. Pauli side that tried previously to sign him permanently with no success. The Brighton U23 coach seems to be in favor of the move suggesting a challenge to the youngster to see how he performs in the 2. Bundesliga in Germany. He is joining fellow Brighton prospect Victor Gyökeres at the German club.
Last Update: July 29, 2019