Premier League • England

Brighton star told to avoid £70million Arsenal mistake and warned some ‘can’t do it at higher level’

Kaoru Mitoma, Moises Caicedo, Brighton, March 2023

Gabby Agbonlahor has warned Kaoru Mitoma against making a big move at the “first chance”, adding that some players “can’t do it at the higher level”.

Mitoma has been one of the breakout stars across the Premier League this season. He averages a goal contribution every other game, having scored six goals and provided four assists in 20 games.

Alongside that tally, the Japan international has scored twice and assisted twice in four FA Cup games.

In his first season in England, those are some very promising returns. What’s more, they suggest he could build on them and go even further next term.

Whether that’s at Brighton is another question. Indeed, Mitoma has been linked with moves to a few big sides: Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are among them.

It’s Arsenal who seem to be the frontrunners, and a fee in the region of £35million could apparently land them the star.

Should Mitoma continue to impress for the rest of the season, that fee could rise.

However, if that is the case, he’ll likely be worth whatever Brighton demand of a side who want to sign him.

Agbonlahor warns Mitoma against big move so soon

Former Premier League striker Agbonlahor has admitted it wouldn’t be good to see Mitoma leave Brighton so soon.

“I don’t like to see players moving at the first chance they get after one good season,” he told Football Insider.

“Mitoma has been excellent, obviously, for Brighton but it’s so different when you go to a top club.”

Agbonlahor also warned Mitoma that he might not be able to maintain his form for a bigger side.

“We’ve seen it so many times with players who can’t do it at the higher level after making the step up,” he added.

Indeed, that’s something that can go both ways. The pressure of playing for a big side can weigh on a player, but conversely, playing alongside so many top players can mean they thrive – who knows which way Mitoma would go.

Mitoma advised to stay put for now

“Just because you have a good season doesn’t mean you’re instantly going to succeed when you move for £60million or £70million,” Agbonlahor said.

“I think Mitoma should stay at Brighton another season and go to the next level because they’re a club on the up.”

Indeed, it might be in everyone’s best interests to wait and see how Mitoma performs over the next season. While it’s unlikely it’s just a fluke season in his first in the Premier League, there’s a chance it is.

As such, a big side could sign him and if he’s not to perform, they’ll have wasted their money.

For Brighton, they’ll get to keep their star for another season if he heeds the advice from Agbonlahor. If he keeps his good form up, they’ll be able to demand more money for their star when the time does come to sell.

If he does have another good season, that’ll help them, too. It seems unlikely they’ll be able to keep him beyond that, as their recent history in selling players suggests they’d have to let go if a big offer was to come.

However, they always seem to find another quality asset, so it might not be a massive loss.

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