Brighton & Hove Albion’s 2018/19 season was seriously hampered by poor recruitment over the summer and disappointing results against sides in the lower echelons of the table, according to Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness.
A 4-1 home defeat to title-winners Manchester City on the final day of the campaign saw the Seagulls finish in 17th-place, two points ahead of Cardiff City in the final relegation spot.
Brighton spent heavily in the summer to improve on 2017/18’s 15th-place finish, bringing in players like Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Bernardo, Florin Andone, Martin Montoya, and Leon Balogun.
But many of the new recruits flattered to deceive as, towards the end of the season, boss Chris Hughton relied on the players that did so well last year to steer Albion away from relegation danger.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the Seagulls’ 4-1 defeat to City, Redknapp said: “I’m sure they (Brighton’s supporters) will want a lot more from their team. It will be an interesting summer.
“I think where they have gone wrong is recruitment. It hasn’t been quite as good as what they would’ve liked.
“(Yves) Bissouma has been a good signing. He’s been excellent in midfield.
“But the players that have been the best players – the (Lewis) Dunks, the (Shane) Duffys – have been here for many years.
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“They will be looking at how they can address that in the summer.”
Brighton endure a wretched 2019. Albion only managed to record two victories in the Premier League in the second half of the season and endured an almost 12-hour scoreless streak in all competitions.
But Hughton managed to achieve league safety for Albion with two games to spare, securing top-flight football for the Seagulls for the third consecutive year – a club record.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Souness stressed that Brighton’s results against sides near the foot of the table weren’t good enough but was quick to point out what a ‘great job’ Hughton had done in keeping Albion up.
He said: “I think their problem has been not beating teams down the bottom-of-the-table here (at the Amex).
“But Chris has done a great job. He does a great job wherever he goes.
“It was a close call for them but when you’ve got a manager like Chris Hughton in charge, he knows what he’s doing.
“He’s been around a long time and he knows his stuff.”
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