By Alan Lirman
Moises Caicedo in a Premier League match
Brighton currently find themselves in 7th place in one of the most competitive leagues in the world: the Premier League. They have 34 matches played and of those matches 17 wins, 7 draws and 10 losses accounting for their 58 points.
In these 33 matches they have pulled impressive victories against top teams. Brighton beat Liverpool 3-0, Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United 2-1, Wolves 6-0, and Chelsea 4-1. To further illustrate their success this season, Brighton sold Leandro Trossard, Marc Cucurella, and Yves Bissouma, who are 3-star players who now play for Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham (respectively) but found ways to replace them and succeed. Additionally, Brighton lost their coach Graham Potter but continued to succeed under coach Roberto De Zerbi.
So what was the key to Brighton's success in the 2022-2023 Premier League season?
Roberto De Zerbi with Moises Caicedo and Julio Enciso.
It is simple: Scouting.
According to Tariq Panja from the New York Times, Brighton's ease in replacing star figures is a direct result of Brighton CEO Paul Barber having a file on his computer that contains direct replacements of 25 key figures of the club from scouting.
Specifically, it focuses on scouting in South America. This scouting is illustrated through the purchases of Alexis Mac Allister, Moises Caicedo, Kaoru Mitoma, Facundo Buonanotte, and Julio Enciso.
Mac Allister, purchased from Argentine side Argentinos Junior for a fee of 7 million euros, became a key component of World Cup winners Argentina and is now rumored to depart the club in the summer for a hefty transfer sum.
Moises Caicedo, purchased for around 4.5 million euros from Independiente Del Valle, was rumored to cost more than 80 million euros during the winter transfer window when he almost departed to former league leaders Arsenal.
Kaoru Mitoma purchased from Kawasaki Frontale for 2.7 million euros scored 7 goals and assisted 4 this season and now has a price tag of about 35 million euros.
Facundo Buonanotte, purchased from Rosarios Central for 5.3 million euros has put in promising performances with 2 goals and assists in his 9 games this season.
Julio Enciso, was purchased from Club Libertad for about 9.5 million euros with a good statistic line of 11 scored goals and managed three assists in 17 games for Libertad. He also recently scored an absurd game-winning goal against Chelsea on April 15th.
As a result of these magnificent purchases because of top-notch scouting in South America, Brighton now finds itself in a position where it will most likely play in the UEFA Europa League or in the UEFA Conference League. Participating in any international football will allow Brighton to increase their funds to purchase more scouted players.
However, as a result of their success in the Premier League, many clubs now have players like Mac Allister, Kaoru Mitoma, Moises Caicedo, Pervis Estupinan, Evan Fergurson, Solly March, and Pascal Gross in their transfer targets which will damage Brighton extensively in the middle of the pitch.
To continue their success not only domestically, but internationally considering they qualify for any UEFA competition, Brighton will need their scouting more than ever. It is no doubt that other Premier Leagues with small budgets will see Brighton as an example and also encourage more scouting in their respective clubs.
Will Brighton's success be sustained?