Club legend and captain Lewis Dunk is nearing a move away from Brighton for a whopping £45million.
The 27-year-old has seen a lot during his spell with Brighton. The captain was born in the town and has been at the club since he was a youth player and has played exclusively for the club barring a loan spell at Bristol City in 2013.
For context, Dunk made his debut for Albion alongside Tommy Elphick versus MK Dons in 2010 in League One when Brighton played at the Withdean Stadium, with a limited capacity of just 8,850 fans. Not even a decade on, he is captaining a Brighton side who are competing in their third successive season in the Premier League, averaging an attendance of 30,426, and he also made his England debut in November last year.
Dunk leaving the club will be huge for Brighton. We take a look at whether they will be able to replace the defender.
The Brighton defender has been a stalwart for the club and would be a huge loss if he were to leave. He is the first name on the team sheet and has only missed two Premier League games since the club got promoted, which speaks volumes about his importance to the side – not only as a player, but as a leader.
His defensive stats appear lower than his counterpart Shane Duffy, averaging less blocks, clearances and interceptions, though he does provide more tackles. Dunk is much better with the ball at his feet, with the second highest passing accuracy in the squad with 82.8 per cent – more than seven per cent more than Duffy.
He averages a lot more long balls than Duffy, has the second highest amount of average passes per game in the squad and averages more key passes.
WhoScored appears to favour Duffy to Dunk for performances last season, with Duffy having an average rating of 7.11 and Dunk an average of 6.72.
Duffy is a serious threat from set-pieces so they will still have that next season, as his five goals for the season shows.
With Potter looking to change the way they play, perhaps losing Dunk isn’t the worst thing that could happen for them. If they can bring a defender for a lot less money who can play with the ball at his feet – perhaps someone such as Alfie Mawson – then it will suit the club.
Pundit and ex-Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp clearly rates the Brighton defender, as he suggested in May that he would be a good fit for Arsenal and exactly what they need. He told The Daily Mail: “Brighton’s Lewis Dunk defended like a warrior and would be an upgrade on any of the centre halves at the Emirates.
“He may not be the most easy on the eye but he just loves the art of defending.
“He is exactly what this Arsenal team needs.”
It would obviously be upsetting for Brighton to see such an important player leave the club, but with the money they’re getting for him they might be quietly pleased.
He is 27-years-old meaning that there is limited room for him to grow as a footballer and Potter is looking to adapt the way they will be playing.
Indeed, they might now have a bigger transfer kitty for the new boss to work his magic wand with, which could go a long way for him to recruit players that can play with his more expansive and possession based football.
Brighton fans, would you be happy with such a large amount of money for Dunk? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!