Over the last half-decade, Brighton have earned a reputation as being one of the best-run clubs in Europe.
They scour the globe for the best young talent, buy low and sell incredibly high – all while maintaining an admirable level of performance and style of play in one of the most demanding and competitive leagues in football.
Here, TEAMtalk ranks the 10 best buys of the club who, under the guidance of chairman Tony Bloom, have become the blueprint for transfer-market success.
10. Dan Burn
Brighton signed Burn from Wigan in 2018 and loaned the towering defender back to the League One side for the first half of the 2018/19 campaign.
Burn had limited Premier League experience from a spell with Fulham in his earlier career, but he adapted quickly to life back in the top flight, becoming a stalwart of a backline that helped Brighton consolidate their place in England’s top division.
When the North East native joined Newcastle in January 2022 for £13 million, his sale netted Brighton a neat £9 million profit.
9. Joao Pedro
The Brazilian forward was only signed from Watford last summer and it took a club-record £30 million to convince the Hornets to sell, but already Pedro appears to have the makings of a typically shrewd pick-up for Brighton.
He has notched an impressive 19 goals in all competitions so far this season for Roberto De Zerbi’s side. And, still just 22 years old, the Seagulls’ No.9 possesses significant resale value, despite Brighton’s hefty initial outlay.
8. Danny Welbeck
Welbeck is essentially the inverse of a typical Brighton buy. With many of the club’s incomings lauded for being a triumph of global scouting and astuteness in terms of upside and resale potential, the former Manchester United and Arsenal striker arrived on a free transfer in October 2020, a month before he turned 30.
The ex-England star has not been a prolific scorer in his latter years, with his best single-season return for the Seagulls a modest seven goals. But his work ethic, leadership and experience have been invaluable to a side replete with a rotating cast of youngsters.
7. Leandro Trossard
Trossard had experienced something of an itinerate career before arriving on the South Coast in the summer of 2019, loaned out in four successive seasons before eventually establishing himself with parent club Genk.
Brighton paid £15 million to sign the Belgian forward, a sizeable sum for a player relatively unknown to most Premier League followers at the time and compared to some of the low-cost buys listed here.
But Trossard’s performances over four seasons with Brighton ensured not only that his signing is considered a bargain retrospectively, but also that Arsenal were prepared to shell out £27 million to take him to the Emirates in January 2023.
6. Pervis Estupinan
Using just a fraction of the fee they received from the sale of Marc Cucurella to Chelsea, Brighton not only replaced but upgraded on the outgoing left-back with the £15 million signing of Estupinan from Villarreal.
The Ecuadorian has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the Premier League over the last two seasons and will surely net the Seagulls yet another chunky profit if they decide to listen to offers for him in the near future.
5. Yves Bissouma
Brighton bought Bissouma from Lille for £15 million in 2018 and, after four seasons at the heart of the Amex midfield, they doubled their money on the Malian star with a £30 million sale to Tottenham.
It is indicative of Brighton’s market smarts that they allowed Bissouma to leave with his effective replacement, Caicedo, already on board.
4. Marc Cucurella
When Brighton signed Cucurella from Getafe for £15 million in 2021, he came with the pedigree of being a Barcelona academy graduate.
In just one season with the Seagulls, the dynamic wing-back showcased all of his La Masia quality.
By the end of the campaign, Manchester City and Chelsea were vying for his signature. The latter’s successful £63 million bid convinced Brighton to cash in on what should be remembered as one of the most astute player sales in Premier League history.
3. Pascal Gross
Unlike most of the other players to make this list, Gross is unlikely to ever net Brighton a significant profit in the transfer market.
But the German midfielder’s immense value to the club is found in the fact he cost just £3 million to sign from Ingolstadt back in 2017 and he has been one of Brighton’s most reliable performers ever since – an experienced head with a handy knack for scoring crucial goals against top opponents.
2. Alexis Mac Allister
The fee Brighton received for Mac Allister’s sale to Liverpool last summer pales in comparison to the return on investment the fetched by the likes of Caicedo, Cucurella and Ben White, with the Reds landing the classy playmaker for an initial outlay of just £35 million – although that figure could rise as high as £55 million if conditional add-ons are triggered.
But Mac Allister’s value to Brighton during his three-and-a-half years at the Amex cannot be measured in pounds and pennies alone. The former Argentinos Juniors midfielder was crucial to the Seagulls’ steady climb up the Premier League table under Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi, as he made 112 appearances and scored 20 goals.
1. Moises Caicedo
Signed from Independiente de Valle in his native Ecuador for just £4.5 million on 1 February 2021, Caicedo’s performances across a season-and-a-half as the engine of Brighton’s midfield enshrined his purchase as one of the great masterstrokes of scouring in recent Premier League history, even before considering the eye-watering return his eventual sale fetched.
That sale – to Chelsea for a British record £115 million last summer – was work of negotiating wonder in itself, as Brighton stood firm in their lofty valuation of the 22-year-old and played the Blues’ desire for the player off against Liverpool’s rival interest.