Good job Hughton: Why Locadia’s imminent arrival will massively lift the team
Brighton and Hove Albion look set to break their club record transfer fee with the £14m signing of Jurgen Locadia from PSV Eindhoven as they go in search of a top quality striker to add to their squad. The amount of successful strikers that have made the transition from the Eredivisie to the Premier League is very small, and for every Luis Suarez, there is a Vincent Janssen. But is this a good deal for Brighton?
Locadia has been at Eindhoven since 2010 and is 24-years-old. He is not a youth player anymore and is likely to relish the opportunity to prove his pedigree in the Premier League. He is the first player to have scored a hat-trick on his Eredivisie debut since 1969 when he came off the bench to score 3 goals against VVV-Venlo back in 2012.
Since then though, his goal record has been patchy, partly because he has often been deployed as a winger as well. This does not mean that he provides many assists either, as he only managed 2 last season. He has also not always been the first choice at PSV, which should be a concern for Albion fans who would be looking for someone to replace or play alongside the ageing Glenn Murray.
Locadia has played for the Netherlands at every youth level and has been called up to the senior squad on two separate occasions. Having played for one of the biggest clubs in the Netherlands, he will understand the pressure at Brighton. The Premier League would also be a stepping stone for him since he has professed a wish to follow in the footsteps of former teammate Memphis Depay by playing for Manchester United.
Chris Hughton would likely have been attracted by Locadia’s work ethics and his recent scoring record which has seen him score 9 goals in 15 games. Hughton will know that an output anywhere near that number in the second half of the Premier League season will be enough to guarantee Seagulls’ survival.
The transfer fee of £14m also represents a good deal for the South Coast club in the current market, and may well look like a good bit of business if he manages to keep Brighton away from the relegation zone. Brighton are currently on a bad run of form having not won in the Premier League since the 23rd December, so whoever comes in will need to be able to lift a club that seems to be sliding down the table as things stand.