• Three Vital Players In Brighton's Survival Push

    Despite the disappointing news regarding Raphael Dwamena’s failed medical, Albion’s transfer activity has recently picked up pace and is sure to continue in the final days of the transfer window.

    Seven new players have arrived at the Amex for the club’s first season back in England’s top flight since the 1982-83 campaign, when the club’s sole Cup Final appearance coincided with relegation from the old First Division.

    According to the bookies Chris Hughton faces a major challenge to keep his side in the division and with Huddersfield’s good start to the season, this is reflected in Brighton’s odds for relegation of 61/50 to be condemned back to the Championship after just one term. See here for further details on how you can be in control of your own bets this Premier League season by requesting a bet.

    Whilst further new signings will add depth to Chris Hughton’s squad, focus will fall on existing players to raise the level of their games. Anthony Knockaert was the standout man for the Seagulls last season and his return to the starting eleven at Watford indicates he should have no problem adjusting to life in the top flight.

    However, let’s look at three players that could prove to be just as vital in saving Hughton’s men from the drop.

    Mathew Ryan

    Source: Official BHAFC via Twitter

    The 25-year-old was one of the first men to arrive at the Amex this summer. He joined the club for a fee in the region of £4.5m and replaced the popular David Stockdale between the sticks, with last year’s stopper joining Birmingham City on a free transfer.

    Likes most promoted sides, Albion are expected to be often against the cosh and the Australian will be tested like he has never been before in his career. Ryan has a good pedigree having appeared 25 times for the Socceroos, including during the 2014 World Cup when he played in every of their matches.

    Solid stoppers can save points and, over the course of a 38-game season, that could be the difference between staying up and going down. As a result, the 25-year-old will have to be on top of his game to justify the money spent on his arrival and the decision to replace Stockdale.

    Ryan may have had a few questionable moments in his opening Albion appearances, but he looked more assured as the club earned their first Premier League point at Watford and will hope to further impress after the international break.

    Lewis Dunk

    The home grown central defender has been linked with moves to the Premier League in the past, highlighting the quality of his displays in the second tier. As a result of his numerous fine performances last season, he was named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

    Dunk will be determined to emulate other players that have recently made the step up to the top flight, with Ashley Williams, Steve Cook and Jose Fonte proving that have those who have operated in the lower leagues can establish themselves at the highest level.

    The 25-year-old played in all but three of Chris Hughton’s side’s matches last season and the Seagulls will need the same level of durability this term. He has the potential to take his game to new heights and much will be expected of him in the middle of the backline. An England squad place could be attainable for him if he continues his upward trajectory.

    Tomer Hemed

    Source: TomerHemed10 via Twitter

    The Israel forward was a savvy purchase for Brighton as he scored many vital goals in his two years in the Championship following his transfer from Spanish side Almeria.

    Hemed struck home 17 times in his first term with the Seagulls, and although he was not as prolific last season, predominantly due to the arrival of Glenn Murray, he still notched 13 strikes to help his side earn promotion.

    With Albion having not been able to strengthen their strikeforce as of yet, and with both Sam Baldock and Glenn Murray sidelined with injuries, Hemed could once again prove a vital option for Chris Hughton to call upon.

    Hemed adjusted to life in the Championship with relative ease, but he’ll need to take things up another notch if he is to chip in with the goals that could make all the difference for Albion in ensuring that his side are competitive this term.