Graham Potter has left Brighton to become the next Chelsea manager after Thomas Tuchel’s surprise sacking earlier this week.
The Seagulls are famed for their long-term planning and structure, but losing their highly-rated manager is still a big blow to the South Coast side.
Owner/ chairman Tony Bloom will no doubt have been scouring the market for a like-for-like replacement, and our traders have taken a look at who could be in the frame to become the next Brighton manager.
The hipster choice. Knutsen has been linked with several Premier League jobs after impressing at Bodø/Glimt in Norway and taking the club to Europe and making them a force domestically too. Potter caught the eye of Brighton way back during his time at Ostersunds in Sweden, so they’re no strangers to keeping tabs on the Scandi scene.
ROBERTO DE ZERBI
De Zerbi was heralded in Serie A for steering minnows Sassuolo to two eighth-placed finishes after cutting his teeth in management at Palermo and Benevento. He’s currently out of work having left Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this year, and certainly fits the bill if Brighton want to appoint someone with a similar playing style to Potter.
Another ex-Swansea man who is now in the Premier League at new boys Nottingham Forest. Cooper led England’s U17s to World Cup glory back in 2017 and his stock has risen higher since after replacing Potter at the Liberty and then steering Forest to promotion in his first campaign in charge.
He’s been backed with a huge transfer spree at the City Ground, but could he be tempted by a move to Brighton?
Don’t worry, we hear you. ‘Franck Haise, who the hell is that?’ He’s currently in charge of French club Lens, who he guided back to Ligue Un in 2020 in a temporary role before being handed the manager’s job full-time.
Lens have kicked on since promotion, and trail PSG at the top of the pile by just two points.
Don’t worry, we hear you. ‘Bo Svensson, who the hell is that?’ Here’s another contender who has been impressing in Europe. The Dane is currently in charge at Mainz, the club where Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel both cut their teeth.
He took over when they were bottom of the Bundesliga, and has since taken them as high as eigth in the table.
After two near-misses in the race for the Champions League and a FA Cup final success in 2021, the former Liverpool and Celtic boss is struggling at Leicester, with Brighton giving them a 5-2 hiding in what turned out to be Potter’s last game in charge.
The Foxes are bottom of the table with just one point all season, and Rodgers could jump on the chance for a fresh start at the Amex Stadium.
The Aussie has been a big hit at Celtic, winning the Scottish Premiership title back from rivals Rangers in his first season.
His team have played an attacking and exciting style, and were given credit for their display against Real Madrid in the Champions League this week despite losing 3-0 on home soil, and the lure of another five group stage matches in the competition could mean it’s hard to tempt him south of the border.
Another left-field choice for the Seagulls could be Belgian coach Mazzu. He used to be in charge of Union Saint-Gilloise, the club co-owned by Brighton’s Tony Bloom. Mazzu got USG promoted from the Belgian second tier two seasons ago then topped the regular season table of the top flight the following campaign.
He quit for Anderlecht in the summer to replace Burnley-bound Vincent Kompany, but could appeal to Bloom after his recent success.
Or how about forgetting the old USG boss, and just targetting the new one? Geraerts took the head coach gig this summer after Mazzu’s exit.
He managed to steer the club to the Europa League, but their domestic form hasn’t quite hit the heights of last term.
Closer to home, could Brentford boss Frank be a contender? The Bees and Brighton share many similarities in terms of structure and style, and despite there not being much love lost between the two club’s owners, they have traded players in the past.
It could just be seen as a sideways step by the Brentford boss, though…
A former Brighton player and coach, Jones has enjoyed great success in two spells in charge at Luton. The only blot against him was a poor spell at Stoke, although plenty have struggled there following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.
Best known for his years at Norwich, Martin is now in charge at Swansea following a good stint as MK Dons boss. Brighton have form for pinching promising coaches from the South Wales club, with Potter spending a season at the Liberty Stadium before being tempted to join the Albion.
Who wouldn’t want to swap working with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi for coaching Solly March, Deniz Undav and Kaoru Mitoma?
A switch to the Amex would appear unlikely for the Argentine, but never say never in football!
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
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