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Brighton’s attempt to build a squad capable of competing in the Premier League is gathering pace already and now they are challenging West Brom for the signature of Sion striker Moussa Konate.
The Senegalese international has scored 8 goals for his country in 23 appearances, a fine record, and has netted 14 in 37 for his club this season. Konate has contributed a goal or an assist every 134 minutes in Switzerland and that, although obviously at a lower level, is impressive.
Konate is just 24 and he can only get better at this stage. Players representing Senegal up front have a good track record in the Premier League; Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse both having proven in the past that they were up to performing at that level and this may be at the forefront of the minds of both Chris Hughton and Tony Pulis.
Konate is already well travelled, having left his homeland back in 2011 to join Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. Having made his name there, the striker joined Krasnodar in Russia before being loaned to Genoa in Italy. His three-year stay in Switzerland representing FC Sion seems to have brought him to the attention of the Premier League clubs and he looks ready now to hit the big time on a permanent basis.
With only one year left on his contract and playing in a lesser league, Sion cannot expect to command a massive fee for their number 14 and so he could end up representing great value for money. Brighton appear to have been in the running to sign Konate for a while, but Tony Pulis and West Brom’s interest appears to be real and they are a huge danger.
The Baggies seem settled as a mid-table side now and although that doesn’t sound exciting, the fact that they are unlikely to go down will be a big draw to both the player and his agent. It is vital though that Brighton are canny when it comes to signing new talent and the acquisition of Konate would be a huge positive early on in what promises to be a vital close-season for the club.
The players Brighton sign this summer would determine where they end up in a year’s time, with fans understandably desperate not to throw away their Premier League status so soon after achieving it for the first time in a generation.