Six Potential Replacements For Graham Potter At Brighton & Hove Albion. The 47-year-old has decided to take the next step in his career by joining Chelsea on a five-year contract, succeeding Thomas Tuchel who was sacked on Wednesday.
After flying high with the Seagulls for just over three years, Graham Potter’s successful era as Brighton & Hove Albion head coach has now come to an end.
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom believes Potter has left an “excellent legacy for his successor”, and the Amex Stadium hotseat is sure to be an attractive vacancy for many managers who are seeking a fresh challenge at an ambitious club who have made a bright start to the 2022-23 campaign.
Under-21s head coach Andrew Crofts has been put in interim charge while Brighton search for Potter’s replacement, and here, Sports Mole takes a look at six potential candidates who could take over on a permanent basis.
A name that not too many will be familiar with, Kjetil Knutsen has emerged as the frontrunner with the bookmakers to succeed Potter.
Six Potential Replacements For Graham Potter At Brighton & Hove Albion. The 53-year-old has been in the managerial business for over 20 years in his native Norway, but his stock has risen since he took charge of Bodo/Glimt in 2018.
The three-time Norwegian Coach of the Year led Bodo/Glimt to their first-ever Eliteserien title in 2020 before they successfully defended their crown in 2021. He also saw his side secure a memorable 6-1 victory against Jose Mourinho’s Roma in last season’s Europa Conference League.
Knutsen’s success with Bodo/Glimt shares similarities with Potter’s reign in Sweden, where he coached Ostersunds FK before moving to England.
Another manager who has emerged as one of the favourites to take the reins on the South Coast is Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, who has adapted well to life in British football.
After spells coaching in his native Australia, Greece and Japan, the 57-year-old replaced Neil Lennon at Celtic in June last year, with his appointment initially questioned by many.
However, Postecoglou has earned the respect of the Parkhead faithful after helping the Hoops win the Scottish Premiership title and League Cup last season, as well as qualifying for the Champions League group stage for the first time in five years.
The former Australia national team coach has implemented an attractive brand of football at Celtic and he has also been shrewd in the transfer market, two similarities to Potter during his reign at Brighton.
Could Steve Cooper succeed Potter for the second time in his coaching career? The 42-year-old was chosen to replace him at Swansea City in 2019 after a successful period with England’s Under-17s – winning the World Cup in 2017.
Unlike Potter, Cooper was able to guide Swansea to the Championship playoffs in both of his two seasons at the club, losing in the semi-finals to Brentford in 2020 before suffering defeat to the Bees again in the 2021 playoff final.
The Welshman left the club after their Wembley heartache and moved to Nottingham Forest, who experienced a remarkable transformation under his tutelage last season, going from the Championship relegation zone in September to securing promotion via the playoffs to the Premier League the first time in 23 years.
After being heavily backed this summer by Forest’s owners – who have recruited 22 new players – it remains to be seen whether Cooper would view the Brighton vacancy as an opportunity too good to turn down.
The current Swansea boss, 36-year-old Brighton-born Russell Martin, could be another man in the frame to succeed Potter.
Martin impressed with his possession-based philosophy in his first managerial role with League One side MK Dons, where he spent two years before stepping up to the second tier with Swansea.
The Swans were unable to mount a playoff push last season, finishing in 15th place and 14 points behind the top six, and they have since endured an inconsistent start to the new campaign, claiming just nine points from their first eight games.
Martin is relatively inexperienced but he has shown promising signs in his capacity as a coach and is believed to be rated highly by the Brighton hierarchy.
Another second-tier coach who could be on Brighton’s radar is Luton Town’s Nathan Jones, who was named the Championship Manager of the Year last season after guiding the Hatters into the playoffs.
Aside from a brief stint at Stoke City, the 49-year-old has been a revelation at Luton, securing League Two promotion in his first spell with the club before keeping them in the Championship in his second and steering them into the top six with one of the smallest budgets in the division last term.
The Welshman has history with Brighton as he made almost 150 league appearances for the club across five years as a player before spending just under three years as an assistant coach under Oscar Garcia, Sami Hyypia and Chris Hughton.
Jones is well respected at the Amex, knows the club inside out, and tends to operate with a similar three-at-the-back system as Potter, but it remains to be seen whether the Seagulls believe he is the right man to take the club forward in the top flight.
Less than five months into his role with Anderlecht – after replacing current Burnley boss Vincent Kompany – Felice Mazzu is another name to have been linked with the Brighton vacancy due to his relationship with chairman Tony Bloom.
Mazzu steered Union SG – who are owned by Bloom – into the Belgian top flight for the first time in nearly 50 years in 2021, before finishing the regular season in first place a year later. The 56-year-old’s success was recognised last term as he was named Belgian Manager of the Season.
Mazzu worked with Deniz Undav, Kascper Kozlowski and Kaoru Mitoma – who all now ply their trade with Brighton – during their time in Belgium and he has a strong working relationship with Bloom, so a possible switch to the South Coast, along with Premier League football, could be tempting.