How far can Brighton go this season?

Brighton and Hove Albion
Brighton defender Leo Ostigard has joined 2. Bundesliga side FC St Pauli on a season-long loan deal.

The start of the new Premier League season cannot come soon enough for Brighton after last year’s disappointing campaign.

The Seagulls narrowly avoided the drop in the final few weeks and, despite keeping them up, Chris Hughton was sacked in May. While some fans felt that move was harsh, others backed the board’s decision after growing tired of his style of play.

Some sections of the fanbase described it as negative, but the same cannot be said of Graham Potter’s approach. The former Swansea City boss was given the job at the start of the summer and is now trying to create an exciting brand of football.

Brighton finished 17th and 15th in the last two seasons and Potter has his work cut out if he wants his team to be competitive in the top flight.

He has been quick to strengthen his squad after losing Anthony Knockaert, while summer signing Matt Clarke has been allowed to move on loan to Derby County.

Lewis Freestone, Danique Kerkdijk, Neal Maupay, Leandro Trossard, Adam Wesbter and Romaric Yapi all joined before Thursday’s deadline.

Seagulls fans have also been boosted by the news that Aaron Mooy has arrived on a season-long loan deal from relegated Huddersfield Town.

While their new signings look impressive, Brighton’s best bit of business may be their ability to keep Lewis Dunk. The centre-back has been linked with a move to Leicester City, but now appears to be staying until January and will play alongside Shane Duffy again.

For the first time in the top flight, Brighton look to have some serious depth in a number of positions and that could allow them to look towards the top 10.

In recent years, all the pressure has been on Glenn Murray, Dunk, Mat Ryan and Pascal Gross, but now they face a fight to keep their places.

They have been handed a tricky start as they prepare to travel to Watford before they welcome West Ham United to the AMEX Stadium. Games against Southampton and Burnley are winnable, while they will be expected to lose to champions Manchester City.

Potter’s style may take a few weeks to bed in although the club’s fans have every right to feel positive ahead of the new campaign.