How far can Brighton and Hove Albion go?

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Graham Potter has led the club to a record finish in the Premier League, credit Simon Dack
Graham Potter has led the club to a record finish in the Premier League, credit Simon Dack

Albion were once on the brink of extinction a mere 24-years-ago. Now in the 25th anniversary season, they have finished the 2021/22 season in 9th place in the Premier League, on 51 points.

Albion dismantled West Ham 3-1 at the Amex on the final day. Goals from Joel Veltman, Pascal Gross, and Danny Welbeck left Albion fans delighted after a poor start to the game in the first half, going in at 1-0 down at half-time - a truly remarkable comeback, one, of which, saw Albion jump from 13th, to 9th within 45 minutes of football.

An incredible record-breaking season, on so many different levels, fans are wondering just how far they can go as a football club.

Premier League record-breaking points recorded, goals scored, fewest conceded, most wins, highest placed finish, and most away wins. An exceptional effort from all involved within the club this season.

The Argus: Graham Potter
The Argus: Graham Potter

Graham Potter

The Seagulls have not had the budget of the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle, West Ham, and even Everton. Recruiting shrewdly and targeting young, talented players is the strategy implemented for Graham Potter to hold the reins as Albion boss.

To break it down, Seagulls started off with a 2-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor, before beating Watford 2-0 in the first home game of the season; wins which set the tempo for a more convincing Brighton compared to previous years.

The ability to ‘grind out results’ and claim points in games which they may not necessarily have deserved them, was the theme of the front half of the season. Playing ugly but winning games is notoriously the nature of a well-drilled footballing side.

The Argus: The recent run of form has brought a feel good factor back to Brighton and Hove Albion
The Argus: The recent run of form has brought a feel good factor back to Brighton and Hove Albion

The recent run of form has brought a feel good factor back to Brighton and Hove Albion

Second-half of February, Albion hit a blip. Seven games without a win is still regrettable in for some fans, and begs the question of ‘what if’ over where Albion could have finished this season as they finished seven points shy of Manchester United in the Europa League spot and only five off West Ham who qualified for the Europa Conference League.

Regardless, of what has happened, Albion bounced back. April and May were significant, Danny Welbeck hit form - as did the rest of the squad.

Playing good, controlling football, knowing how to play teams off the park again was important for some Seagulls fans to remember just how impressive ‘Potterball’ is, and can be.

Since the start of April, Albion have scored 16 Premier League goals, which has helped guided them to a finish in the top half of the table.

The Argus: Pascal Gross scored a crucial goal against West Ham on the final day of the season
The Argus: Pascal Gross scored a crucial goal against West Ham on the final day of the season

Pascal Gross scored a crucial goal against West Ham on the final day of the season

So where can the Seagulls go? In the near short-term, a big summer transfer window awaits them. Uncertainty over key players like Leandro Trossard, Yves Bissouma, and Marc Cucurella will allow the speculators to speculate - perhaps a chance for some newbies to come through the door? Youth prospects will be likely to break in, Potter does love to keep fans guessing, too.

Reda Khadra, Jan Paul van Hecke, and Kaoru Mitoma are all expected to link up with the first team next season, alongside Deniz Undav, after successful loan spells for them respectively.

Van Hecke specifically was awarded Blackburn Rovers’ player-of-the-season award, a prize well deserved for the exciting 21-year-old centre-back. An interesting prospect to see where he will potentially work with Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, and Joel Veltman next season.

Keeping hold of these key players, and adding a few more additions into the squad will be key to the push for European spots next season, even if not directly the target from the club - it is more than possible to dream.

The likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle, and Everton are all very likely to spend big this summer, so the Seagulls will have a task on their hands to remain on top of the ever-significant summer transfer window.

Looking beyond that, the world really is Albion's oyster. If able to keep hold of Potter, the potential of the squad, with talented young players like Moisés Caicedo, Jeremy Sarmiento, Jan Paul van Hecke, Marc Cucurella, and Tariq Lamptey, is staggering.

As mentioned, a record-breaking season, with stats impressive by a club of Albion's stature. It is unthinkable to imagine where they could end up, in this history rewriting story.

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