Anthony Knockaert will return to the Premier League, after Brighton & Hove Albion secured promotion from the Championship last term.
The Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder joined the seagulls in January 2016 and was awarded the Championship Player of the Year. He concluded the 2016/17 season with 15 goals and 8 assists in 41 appearances.
Knockaert failed to secure a regular place in Leicester City’s starting line-up once they won promotion to the Premier League. He subsequently left the club, despite being offered a four-year contract, to join Belgian outfit Standard Liege.
Leicester City ultimately pulled off one of the biggest surprises in English football history by clinching the Premier League title in the following season. However, Knockaert should enjoy life in the English top flight more this season.
He played a key role in helping Brighton & Hove Albion secure promotion to the Premier League last season. At only 25-years-old, time remains on the Frenchman’s side and he’s been given another bite of the cherry to prove himself in the Premier League.
Izzy Brown is likely to be Knockaert’s only serious competitor in terms of competition for a starting place. However, the 20-year-old was regularly deployed in central attacking midfield during his season-long loan with Huddersfield Town.
Chris Hughton will surely base Brighton & Hove Albion’s attacking tactics around the Frenchman. He’s efficient, imaginative and creative, which will require prolific attackers to utilize his skills effectively.
The seagulls base their football around attacking width, which benefits Knockaert immensely. Glen Murray netted 23 goals in the Championship last season and the former Crystal Palace striker proved to be the perfect target man for Knockaert.
Could Knockaert Be Decisive in Brighton’s Relegation Battle?
Yes, Knockaert was involved in 23 goals last season, which will be pivotal as Brighton are unlikely to enjoy as much freedom in the final third. He’s also important due to his work rate, such as tracking back, which will be important because they’ll need to tighten up at the back.
They play an expansive and risky counter-attacking system, which will have to be improved this season. Brighton & Hove Albion have invested in goalkeeper Matt Ryan and defender Markus Suttner to sharpen up their defence.
Glen Murray will also be under the spotlight, due to his failure to replicate his goal scoring form in the Premier League with former club Crystal Palace. If he manages to translate his recent form to the English top flight, Knockaert is likely to notch up plenty of assists for the 33-year-old.
Anthony Knockaert is also an essential set piece threat, both directly and indirectly. Brighton possess various aerial threats but Knockaert also has the ability to score directly with his whipping and powerful free-kicks.
Brighton are third favourites to suffer relegation according to Odds Checker, surprisingly ahead of Burnley and newly promoted Huddersfield Town. They seem well equipped in the final third but investment in their defence is still required.
Knockaert was one of the most creative players in the Championship last season. He made an average of 2.1 key passes and 2.7 dribbles per game and recorded 2.4 shots and 1.8 crosses per game.
His defensive contributions went undermined, despite Steve Sidwell being the only midfield/attacker to make more tackles than him per match. All 15 of his goals came from open play with 3 be scored after a counter-attacking move according to Who Scored.