Pre-Season Focus, Brighton And Hove Albion AVFC -

3 minute read

Brighton was another of last season’s surprise packages as they finished sixth in the Premier League, their highest top-flight finish ever. Their finish resulted in qualification to the Uefa Europa League which will be the first time the club has ever participated in European football.

Roberto De Zerbi took control of an already impressive Brighton side in September 2022 when he succeeded Graham Potter. Although De Zerbi had an impressive managerial record I don’t think many thought he would push the Seagulls on to the next level while also playing an imposing and easy-on-the-eye style of football.

Credit must also go to chairman Tony Bloom who has made no secret that everybody at Brighton has their price and already has 2-3 people to replace any outgoings within the club. The club is regarded, and rightly so, as one of the best-run football clubs in the Premier League.

Stadium: American Express Community Stadium.
Nickname(s): The Seagulls, The Albion.
Founded: 1901.
Manager: Roberto De Zerbi.

Last Season: 6th.
Top Scorer(s): Alexis Mac Allister (10)

Played for both Villa and Brighton

Gareth Barry

Arguably my favourite ever Aston Villa player, Gareth Barry. He came through the youth setup at Brighton but never made an appearance for them as he joined Aston Villa in 1997 as a trainee in a deal said to be worth in the region of £2.5 million, which also saw Michael Standing join Villa at the same time.

Following a year in the reserve team, Barry made his debut for Aston Villa in a 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday in 1998 when he replaced another Villa fan favourite, Ian Taylor as a 49th-minute substitute.

The defender come midfielder went on to make 365 appearances during an 11-year spell at Aston Villa before joining Manchester City in 2009 in a deal worth £12 million.

We miss players like Gareth Barry

Steve Sidwell

Steve Sidwell came through the youth academy at Arsenal. Following loan spells with Brentford, Beveren and Brighton the midfielder joined Reading in an undisclosed deal. He went on to make 168 appearances at the Royals before joining Chelsea on a free transfer in 2007.

The one season at Chelsea wasn’t successful and he struggled for game time, only making 15 appearances. Villa snapped the midfielder up in 2008 in a deal said to be worth around £5 million. Three years, three goals and forty-five appearances later, Sidwell moved on once again, this time to Fulham and then Stoke before ending his playing career with Brighton. Initially, on a loan spell, Steve made 50 appearances for the Seagulls over a two-year spell before retiring.

Head to Head

Aston Villa: 17
Brighton: 5
Drawn: 9

Last meeting: Aston Villa 2-1 Brighton (28 May 2023)
2023/23 Fixtures: H – 30 Sep ’23, A – 4 May ’24.

Confirmed Transfers

IN: João Pedro (£30 million), Bart Verbruggen (£17 million), Igor (£15 million), Adrian Mazilu (£2.5 million), Mahmoud Dahoud (Free), James Milner (Free).
OUT: Alexis Mac Allister (£36 million), Reda Khadra (£1.6 million), Haydon Roberts (Free), Taylor Richards (Undisclosed).

Transfer Rumours

IN: Lucas Assadi from Club Universidad de Chile (£3.5 million), Cole Parmer from Manchester City (Loan).
OUT: Moisés Caicedo to Chelsea (£65 million).


Brighton, just like Villa have headed over to the US to take part in the Premier League Summer Series. Despite being in the same competition, the two sides won’t meet but the Seagulls kicked off their pre-season with a 4-3 defeat to Chelsea in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Next up is Brentford today in Atlanta and then they wrap up their US tour against Newcastle on Saturday in New Jersey.

Brighton’s final pre-season fixture will be against Rayo Vallecano at the Amex Stadium on August 6th.