Brighton and Hove Albion secured promotion to the Premier League in style. Chris Hughton's side ended the 2016-2017 campaign second just behind Newcastle, scoring 74 goals, conceding 40 and only losing three times at the Amex in the whole campaign.

However, bookmakers make the Seagulls as one of the main favourites to go down after a quiet summer transfer window.

At the time of writing a number of reports are claiming that Brighton are set to smash their transfer record by signing Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven in a £6m deal – which would eclipsed the £5m invested earlier in the summer in goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, who has arrived from Valencia.

The remainder of the additions made to date suggest that it will be a tough year for Hughton's pupils.

Left-back Markus Suttner and playmaker Pascal Gross have no experience in the Premier League and have arrived to the Amex after being relegated with Ingolstadt in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, Izzy Brown has created great expectations following his promising spells at Rotherham United and Huddersfield but it's worthy to remember that the Chelsea loanee has only two top fight appearances under his belt - one with the Blues and another with West Bromwich Albion as a teenager.

The club have also recruited 21-year-old midfielder Mathias Normann from the Norwegian second division and 18-year-old winger Steven Alzate from Leyton Orient but neither of them are expecting to assist Hughton's survival bid– as they are seen as signings for the future.

Last season

Championship: 2<sup>nd (promoted)

FA Cup: third round

League Cup: third round

Top Scorer: Glenn Murray (23)

Manager – Chris Hughton

The former Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich manager took over from Sami Hyypia at Brighton in December 2014, with the team lying in the 21st in the Championship, just one place above the relegation zone.

Hughton managed to avoid the relegation that season and laid the foundations for a more promising future.

The Seagulls came close to securing promotion in the 2015-2016 season [losing to Middlesbrough in a final day decider] and Hughton finally won the jackpot last campaign after guiding his side to the top flight for the first time in 34 years.

His previous experience in the top flight as a coach at Tottenham and then at the helm at Newcastle and Norwich will prove pivotal but his instinct to be cautious needs to change.

Key player – Anthony Knockaert

The 25-year-old played a key role in Brighton's promotion to the Premier League, being named Championship Player of the Year last season after scoring 15 goals and setting up further nine in 45 games.

The Frenchman's contribution will be vital again to establish Brighton in the top-flight given that the Seagulls are yet to add any major star to Hughton's squad during the summer transfer window.


The relegation of Hull City and Middlesbrough last term just a year after their respective promotions are a clear example of Brighton's challenge ahead of the coming campaign.

It will be the Seagulls' first spell campaign in the Premier League - and their first in the top division for 34 seasons - and if they manage to extend this foray beyond one year it will be like a virtual title win.

IBT prediction – 20<sup>th

Propper's expected arrival from PSV is a good statement of intent but Brighton will need to add some more new faces before 31 August if they want to have a chance of remaining in the Premier League next season. Knockaert may have been a star in the Championship but his spell at Leicester City suggests that his undoubted talent won't not be enough to keep the Seagulls afloat.

Anthony Knockaert
Anthony Knockaert was named Championship Player of the Year last season. Getty