Graham Potter replacement: ‘Favourite’ for Brighton role appears, as expert tips coach to take up ‘dream job’
Norwegian coach Kjetil Knutsen has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Graham Potter at Brighton, and one pundit has backed him to take up the role.
Brighton are searching for a new first-team coach after Potter went to Chelsea. The Englishman has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
According to reports, Chelsea paid Brighton £15million to release Potter from his Seagulls contract. And the Blues also had to pay Thomas Tuchel £6.9m after sacking him.
Following Potter’s exit, Brighton deputy chairman Paul Barber said he was getting straight to work on finding a managerial successor, along with owner Tony Bloom and technical director David Weir.
“Tony, David and I have already begun work to replace Graham and to secure the very best candidate for the club,” Barber revealed.
“I have no doubt there will be unprecedented interest in the job, not least because of the excellent work done by Graham but also because of the footballing infrastructure in place at our club.
“I am hugely disappointed to be losing our coaching team, particularly at this time, but I too would like to take this opportunity to thank Graham, Billy, Bjorn, Bruno, Ben and Kyle for their services and wish them well for the future.
“It has been a pleasure working with all of them.”
At that point, potential replacements included Luton boss Nathan Jones, Celtic’s Ange Postecoglu and Steve Cooper of Nottingham Forest.
Kjetil Knutsen backed to replace Potter
But a new frontrunner for the position has emerged since then. According to Sport Witness, Bodo/Glimt boss Kjetil Knutsen is ‘the current favourite’.
He took charge of the Norwegian club in 2018 and has had a hugely successful time in recent years. He helped Bodo/Glimt reach the Europa Conference League quarter-final last season.
And they picked up a famous win over Italian side Roma in the first leg, leaving Jose Mourinho and his team shocked.
However, they were knocked out as eventual champions Roma won 4-0 in the second leg.
Bodo/Glimt also won the Norwegian top flight last season, while they are in this year’s Europa League.
Knutsen is clearly working wonders at the club, which explains why Brighton have set their sights on him.
Kasper Wikestad, who is an expert on Norwegian football, has backed Knutsen to fill the Amex hot seat.
Brighton would be a ‘dream’ for Knutsen – expert
“If he’s going to want it, I think Brighton have to decide that he is the one they want, and that he is the first choice,” Knutsen said (via Sport Witness).
“If he should be relevant, I am very unsure whether he will be interested or not, but it seems like a dream job.
“When you come up to a Brighton level, which is an extremely well-run club that has done a lot of right where other clubs have done a lot wrong. They have a good foundation and have a lot going for them.
“This means the new manager will be served everything if he wants to introduce and implement his own methods in a systematic way, and he will also have the material available.”
Knutsen is clearly a left-field option. But Brighton have history of bringing in players and coaches from unlikely destinations.
Potter spent time at Swedish minnows Ostersund before impressing at Swansea and then joining Brighton.
The south coast club have also brought in Moises Caicedo from Ecuador, and Deniz Undav from Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise.
Perhaps Knutsen will be able to continue where Potter left off and help Brighton to continue making their mark on the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Brentford boss Thomas Frank has given his verdict on Potter joining Chelsea.