Brighton are currently flying high in The Championship and although there was somewhat of a surprise defeat last weekend away at Preston they are still many pundits favourites to not only get automatic promotion to the top flight but perhaps even win the division outright.
With Brighton fans suffering three play off disappointments in the past four seasons, the hope will be that come May this will be the season in which The Seagulls finally make the step up to the Premier League. At the halfway stage of the season they look in a strong position in which to do so, but that was also the case 12 months ago in a season that ultimately ended in heartbreak
They would then go on to miss out on promotion by the smallest of margins with Middlesbrough going up instead by virtue of goals scored, what made that even more agonising is the fact that the two sides met at the Riverside Stadium on the final day of the season with the game ended in a very frustrating draw for Chris Hughton’s side.
And the former Newcastle manager will want to make sure that history does not repeat itself this time around and to make sure of that then he may well feel that a couple of reinforcements are required in a bid to get them over the promotion line.
So let’s now look at three players who could be on their way to the Brighton in January.
One player who has grabbed the attention of the Brighton scouts as of late is Jason Lowe of fellow Championship side Blackburn Rovers. The versatile 25 year old is being tracked by a number of clubs and what makes his possible transfer all the more appealing is the fact that Lowe is out of contract at the end of the season.
The question now is whether or not the clubs are prepared to play the waiting game until the Summer to acquire the services of Lowe on a free transfer or whether they feel it would be best to hurry the move along by making a bid in the January transfer window. With Lowe refusing to sign a new deal then Blackburn may well be forced to sell this month so not to see him leave the club for nothing.
The former England under 21 international has been an ever present and an all important feature in Owen Coyle’s side as they bid to beat the drop down to League One. Should he leave this month then it would obviously deal Blackburn’s survival hopes a massive blow but at the same time could also enhance Brighton’s chances of promotion.
Brighton have also been eyeing a new striker in this transfer window to add to support to on loan returnee Glenn Murray and they might just be able to bring one of the Premier League’s most lethal finishers to The Amex Stadium, that being none other than Robbie Keane. Keane is a free agent after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy and could well be the missing piece in the jigsaw when it comes to Brighton going up.
The Republic Of Ireland international who has played for no fewer than 6 Premier League clubs during his career has scored 126 top flight goals, a goal tally which makes him the 13th highest Premier League goal scorer of all time and he show signs of slowing down just yet. Perhaps the MLS is a much easier league in comparison but the 36 year old still has that vital instinct for goal at his disposal.
Perhaps a return to the Premier League may elude him this month but with Keane being available on a free transfer then he will undoubtedly still be in high demand, especially for the clubs aiming to secure promotion from The Championship this season. With Brighton falling short because of goals scored last season that is not something they will want to see happen again and the signature of Keane will go a long way to making sure that’s not the case two seasons in a row.
If they do not manage to succeed in acquiring the services of Robbie Keane then a smart bit of business that they should definitely look to do is make the loan signing of current top scorer Glenn Murray a permanent one. Murray who is on loan from Premier League side Bournemouth is at his second spell with the Sussex based club and it’s fair to say that he is picking up from where he left off from
Murray left the club in slightly acrimonious circumstances back in 2011 with his departure to arch rivals Crystal Palace, but it seems as Football fans have short memory as the 33 year old is once again being heralded as a fan favourite on the South Coast. It’s his 14 goals in 22 Championship outings this season which has arguably gone some way to helping Brighton fans forget his departure to The Eagles.
After falling out of Eddie Howe’s plans at The Vitality Stadium towards the end of last season it was made clear that his future then lied elsewhere for the start of this one. Although Bournemouth cannot recall the player due to the terms of the loan agreement, such has been the impressive form of Murray during this campaign that Chris Hughton will now want to complete a deal to remove any doubts about the player’s future. A move that should it be completed this month will be incredibly beneficial in Brighton’s push for promotion.