Attacking football and the chance to shine in the Premier League was the reason £20m striker Neal Maupay chose to sign for Brighton.
Maupay, 22, had a host of admirers willing to part with serious money to obtain his services but he elected for the Albion because of head coach Graham Potter’s attack-minded beliefs.
The Frenchman has been a long-term target of the club and agreed a four-year contract, after passing his medical. He will be available for selection for Brighton’s Premier League opener at Watford tomorrow.
“The head coach’s plans were the main factor in me deciding to join Brighton,” said Maupay.
“We played Swansea three times last season and we lost all three games. They were playing really good football, which I can see myself being involved in.
“I like possession-based football so when I met him this summer, he told me that he wanted me to bring that type of football to Brighton. Straight away, I thought he would be great for me. I am excited to get to work.”
The capture of Maupay represents a decent transfer window for Brighton who have also added £15m winger Leandro Trossard and £20m defender Adam Webster to their squad.
Head coach Graham Potter said, “Neal is a talented striker, with good strength and pace, and he is a goalscorer.
“He will add an extra dimension to our existing forward options, and we are delighted to have completed the transfer. The club has been monitoring Neal and has been aware of his ability for some time. Separately I was also aware of his obvious ability at Swansea, and came up against him in the Championship last season.
“His record in the Championship has been exceptional, with 41 goals across the last two seasons, and now his challenge is to transfer that to the Premier League.”
Maupay scored 41 goals in two seasons at Griffin Park, making 75 starts and 20 substitute appearances in a total of 95 games for the Bees.
He’s also been capped by France at under-16 to under-21 levels; and last season was voted Brentford’s Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year. He also won the 2018/19 EFL Player of the Year at the London Football Awards.
The club’s newest signing made his debut in his nation’s top-flight at the age of just 16, and he also spoke about the differences he’s anticipating between France’s highest division and the Premier League.
“When I used to play in the French first division, the level was really high, and I was playing in the Europa League for St Etienne,” he continued.
“There are no weak teams in the Premier League, so you’ve got to be ready to fight and try to win some games.
“I think this is the country of football and everyone loves the game here. It’s the best league in the world.
“I started my senior career at a really young age, and this is my eighth season as a professional footballer.
“I have that experience, but I’m still young and have a lot of things to improve, so coming here is a good plan for me.”
Maupay added, “There are no weak teams in the Premier League, so you’ve got to be ready to fight and try to win some games. This is the country of football and everyone loves the game here.”