Premier League team guide: Brighton in the spotlight
Brighton recorded their best Premier League finish in 2021-22 by breaking into the top half to clinch ninth place.
Manager Graham Potter has gradually built an attractive side without breaking the bank and his stock will only continue to rise by building on last term.
Now entering their sixth consecutive top-flight season, the Sussex outfit constantly evolve while providing the blueprint for thriving in the Premier League.
Last season: Ninth
Four wins from the first five games got Brighton off to an incredible start but inconsistency plagued their campaign.
Things took a turn for the worse as Potter's side went 11 matches without a win before beating Brentford on Boxing Day.
A welcome seven-game unbeaten run subsequently gave way to a run of six straight defeats in February and March.
However, wins in five of their last eight against European contenders Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham clinched a top-half finish.
It is the highest the Seagulls have ever ended the season in their 121 year history.
There has only been one summer arrival at the Amex Stadium — and he might not be involved in Potter's first team.
Paraguayan striker Julio Enciso cost a reported £9.5million from Libertad but at 18, he is likely to be eased into life in the Premier League.
But what they lack in new signings, the Seagulls make up for in returning loanees.
Matt Clarke (West Brom), Deniz Undav (Union Saint-Gilloise), Jan Paul van Hecke and Reda Khadra (both Blackburn) are all back and in contention.
4-3-3: Sanchez; Veltman, Webster, Dunk, Cucurella; Mac Allister, Caicedo, Mwepu; Gross, Trossard, Welbeck
The Seagulls are one of the Premier League's most tactically flexible teams, using both a back three and a back four last season.
We expect them to use both regularly but with their current squad, a four-man defence looks the best bet for Potter.
Robert Sanchez is the undisputed No1 and will have Joel Veltman, Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Manchester City target Marc Cucurella in front of him, unless the Citizens can agree a deal.
The midfield is comprised of Alexis Mac Allister, Moses Caicedo and Enock Mwepu, with Leandro Trossard and Pascal Gross in support of Danny Welbeck, who just gets the nod ahead of Neal Maupay up front.
Star man: Robert Sanchez
It is rare for a goalkeeper to be considered the star man in any team but Sanchez has been an integral part of Potter's side.
Since making his debut for Brighton in November 2020, Sanchez has been one of the first names on the team sheet for the South Coast outfit.
Last term he kept 11 clean sheets in 37 Premier League games — joint-sixth in the division.
But what Potter really appreciates is the Spanish international's ability to start moves with the ball at his feet.
In 2021-22, Sanchez ranked third among all top-flight keepers for passes attempted (36.04) and completed (24.28) per 90 minutes.
Up-and-comer: Kacper Kozlowski
Despite signing for Brighton in January, Kacper Kozlowski is not a household name in the Premier League — but he could be the Seagulls' next big thing.
Kozlowski, 18, was on loan at sister club Union Saint-Gilloise last term. He made six appearances in the regular season — providing one assist — as the newly-promoted Belgian side topped the league.
The six-cap Polish international played three of the six play-off games as Union SG finished the season in second place.
Now back at Brighton, Kozlowski has been likened to Kevin De Bruyne and Paul Pogba due to his playmaking ability in midfield.
The boss: Graham Potter
Potter is widely considered one of the most exciting British managers around thanks to the way Brighton play.
The 47-year-old was handed his first job at then fourth division Swedish side Ostersunds in 2011 and just four years later, promotion to the top division had been secured.
After winning the 2017 Svenska Cupen, Potter shot to fame when his side qualified for the Europa League and beat Arsenal at the Emirates, only to lose on aggregate.
In 2018, Swansea hired Potter, who led the them to an FA Cup quarter-final where Manchester City came from behind to knock the Championship side out.
Appointed as Brighton boss in 2019, Potter will surely be in the frame for the England job when Gareth Southgate leaves.
All information correct as of 9am, July 20, 2022