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Brighton’s success could be a template for Sunderland

“Brighton have been extremely savvy when it comes to selling players and reinvesting the money, and it’s a method that Sunderland could easily replicate,” writes Paddy Hollis.

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

After they sold goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to Chelsea for a fee of approximately £25 million, Brighton and Hove Albion have essentially made an enormous profit on a keeper who’d become their second choice stopper behind Jason Steele, of all people.

When it comes to recruitment, the club from the south coast are an almost perfect example of exactly how to do it.

They’ve established themselves in the Premier League and have continued to build their squad whilst balancing the books. Several of the players who helped them to become a stable top flight team have been sold on, with Sanchez becoming the latest of the big names to leave for a hefty fee.

In the wake of Sanchez’s departure, they will have made a 100% profit on him.

A youth player who was signed back in 2013, he rose through the ranks and made almost one hundred appearances for the Seagulls. He’s now been sold on but just like when Leandro Trossard departed, Brighton won’t be left weaker.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United: Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
Robert Sanchez of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2023 in London,
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The same can also be said of their quest to keep Moisés Caicedo.

Brighton are fully aware of how much Chelsea need a new midfielder following the departures of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and the bids and attention directed towards Caicedo have been relentless.

However, Brighton have made sure they’re not an easy target. The Seagulls are holding out for £100 million and with Chelsea seemingly unwilling to go that high, it appears they might just keep hold of him.

Holding this kind of power and leverage is something that few teams can boast of these days, and I want Sunderland to follow this path and become what Brighton have turned themselves into: a club that might sell some of their best assets, but that also has the personnel in charge to make sure the integrity of the squad doesn’t suffer as a result.

This summer has been filled with transfer speculation surrounding some of our top players.

Jack Clarke, Dan Ballard and Ross Stewart have all been the subject of rumours, although most of these have turned out to be almost complete works of fiction from websites with more pop-up adverts than column inches.

Sunderland v Luton - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Nevertheless, our resolve has been tested and the rumours haven’t fully gone away.

I personally feel that none of the three players mentioned will leave this summer, and this was boosted by news of Ballard signing a new contract extension, but nevertheless, it’s a taste of what might lie ahead.

The likes of Clarke and Ballard were absolutely crucial for us last year, and although Ballard was unlucky with injuries, his partnership with Danny Batth was a real reason for some of our success.

Clarke, meanwhile, is a player who makes us tick.

Getting the ball off him looked almost impossible at times last season, and this kind of potential is worth its weight in gold, which is why it’s so encouraging that we’ve stood firm in the face of multiple offers from Burnley.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s clear that we won’t enter any kind of conversation until an offer of at least £20 million was received, and the Clarets barely offered half of this, meaning that Clarke’s stay on Wearside looks set to continue.

The big offers will come, and they may come as early as January should we have a successful first half of the season.

Our resolve will be tested further, and the time will come when we sell one of our best players for what should be a lot of money, but when that happens, all we need to do is look at Brighton.

Replicate what they’ve done and our development as a football club will be heading in the right direction.


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