Three promotions and a Swedish cup win with Östersund was enough to shoehorn Graham Potter into a managerial post in Wales. With his possession-based philosophy turning heads in Swansea, it was Brighton who gladly gave Potter a chance at the big time; an opportunity to pit his wits against England’s best.
Potter spoke in the press conference following his appointment and explained how his new role was the culmination of 14 years of hard work and sacrifice.
A 15th place finish and a comfortable seven points adrift of the relegation places confirmed what Brighton head-honcho, Tony Bloom, saw in the former Swansea man.
The unexpected news of Jöel Veltman’s arrival at the Amex Stadium adds to permanent switches of both Tariq Lamptey and Adam Lallana. Business done early for Brighton, perhaps mirroring Potter’s meticulous nature.
£900,000 for Ajax’s Veltman has raised eyebrows following a fee in the region of £4million for January acquisition, Tariq Lamptey. The free transfer of the English, European, and World champion, Lallana, who waltzed into Brighton this week, only adds to the impressiveness of Brighton’s recruitment.
All three transfers will cause a stir on the terraces at The Amex once safe, and add to the obvious talent already at Potter’s disposal. The new faces will be seen as coups for the club, especially at the bargain-basement prices in which they were landed.
The Seagulls are welcoming a much-coveted level of European experience in Veltman and Lallana, which should only add fuel to Brighton supporters’ desires of European football; a goal which is seemingly harder to achieve each Premier League season.
The new Brighton defender featured five times for Ajax in the Champions League this term, and recorded the same number of appearances in the competition the previous year. Veltman’s versatility at both centre-back and right-back has been an ever-present fixture in the squad.
Veltman made over 200 appearances for Ajax since debuting in 2012, and turned out on 22 occasions for his national side, the Netherlands. Lallana’s international caps stand at 34 for his country, while he also clinched England’s player of the year award in 2016.
The £25m signing from Southampton came to life following Jurgen Klopp’s arrival from Germany, and initially presented as a key figure in Klopp’s side.
Injuries have had an impact on Lallana’s Liverpool tenure, but if they can be kept at bay for Potter, the two-footed playmaker will become a hit on the south coast once again.
“There is no doubting Adam’s quality, and if you look at his footballing CV his ability is clear for everyone to see,” stated Potter, following the arrival from Merseyside.
Written by: Sam Ingram – @SamIngram_
Feature Graphic by: Sam Ingram – @SamIngram_