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Brighton logo
Premier League | Gameweek 34
May 15, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
The American Express Community Stadium
Chelsea logo

1 - 2

Welbeck (90+7')
Dunk (29'), Verbruggen (81')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Palmer (34'), Nkunku (64')
Sterling (77'), Caicedo (79')
James (88')

'Brighton & Hove Albion tried to sign current Chelsea player' - Roberto De Zerbi makes transfer revelation

'Brighton tried to sign current Chelsea player' - De Zerbi makes transfer revelation
© Reuters
Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi reveals the Seagulls attempted to sign a current Chelsea player during last year's summer transfer window.

Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi has revealed he tried and failed to sign a current Chelsea player last summer.

The Seagulls and Blues are no strangers to doing business with each other, most notably through Moises Caicedo leaving the Amex Stadium for Stamford Bridge in a British record transfer deal.

Graham Potter, Marc Cucurella, Levi Colwill and Billy Gilmour have also been involved in switching between the clubs over the past two years.

At the present time, Brighton are preparing to welcome Chelsea for a Premier League fixture on the South Coast on Wednesday evening, the visitors knowing that victory will secure a top-seven finish in the standings.

From Brighton's perspective, they still have ambitions to record a second successive top-half finish on the back of ending 2022-23 in sixth position.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi on April 25, 2024© Reuters

De Zerbi makes transfer revelation

That led to Brighton securing a first-ever appearance in the Europa League, making them an increasingly attractive proposition in the transfer market.

However, ahead of playing host to Chelsea on Wednesday, De Zerbi has revealed at a press conference that Brighton attempted to sign Cole Palmer from Manchester City last summer.

Palmer has since established himself as one of the best players in the top flight, contributing 21 goals and 10 assists for the West Londoners.

Speaking to reporters, De Zerbi said: "We tried to bring him in the transfer market last summer. We thought he could be a top player.

"The qualities of Palmer are clear for everybody, but not when he played for Manchester City. This season he is playing very well, he is scoring a lot of goals."

He added: "The quality of Palmer is very high. He's a problem for us tomorrow because he can start in the winger position and come inside or [play as] a number 10 as well."

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring against West Ham United on May 5, 2024© Reuters

How have Brighton's players performed in comparison?

Brighton have sometimes lacked the creativity that Palmer could have offered, with Pascal Gross (10) the only player to contribute more than four assists in the Premier League.

Their cause on that front has not been helped by an injury to Kaoru Mitoma, yet the Japanese playmaker had only chipped in with three goals and four assists from his 19 appearances before his season was brought to an end.

In general, Chelsea have been far superior to Brighton in the final third, netting 19 more goals (73 to 54) than their upcoming opponents.

Although Palmer did not move to Chelsea until the back end of the transfer window, De Zerbi opted against signing a direct alternative, only bringing in central-midfielder Carlos Baleba around the same time.

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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