Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton believes that the club’s summer recruitment has been a successful process, ahead of the side’s 2018/19 Premier League opener this afternoon.
The Seagulls travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford today having welcomed ten new first team faces through the door across the close season, and the boss is satisfied with the work that has been done.
He said, “In some respects, it’s been a little bit easier this summer because you have windows where perhaps some of the players are brought in late on.
“But there’s been a nice spread and the first two were done quite early, and all we’ve done is worked hard to get them done.
“We have a good structure behind the scenes here to look after the new players and their families – we have players here who speak many languages that correspond to the new players and that’s good for us.
“Probably the youngest is Yves [Bissouma] – but one thing about integration is that players already within the group can help. It’s a good group to come into and there’s a settled set of faces in the group who’ve been in similar situations.”
Albion were one of the Premier League’s busiest clubs during the close season, but the manager emphasised that it was a trend that was replicated across the division as a whole.
“The owner of this football club has been excellent and if I look at what the club has spent this summer, it’s a sign of the times.
“We are a club who have broken our transfer record quite a few times, but we had a fair way down to go up from.
“You see it a lot now with teams that come up, they spend big and that’s because of the necessity of staying in this division – we have a chairman who’s invested heavily in this club and we’re very thankful for that.”
Last summer Hughton welcomed a similar amount of new faces into his squad ahead of the club’s first season in the Premier League – he’s hopeful that the successes of last term can be replicated during the upcoming campaign.
“There’s always a confidence when you bring players in – they’ll either come into the group and start or come into the group and give us good competition.
“But you never know – if you’d asked me at the start of last season how we were going to do then I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, but I was always confident that we could match the levels we needed to.
“That’s the same this season, I’d like to think we can use our experiences from last season and we have more direct competition for places in more positions within the squad, so we hope that has a good effect.”