Brighton have reportedly signed Florin Andone for a fee of £5.25m. The Deportivo La Coruna striker will join the Seagulls on a five-year contract after an impressive domestic campaign. Brighton are planning for another season in the Premier League after finishing 15th in the table in the 2017/18 campaign.
Most of Brighton and Hove Albion’s goals were either scored or assisted by star signing Pascal Gross and veteran English striker Glenn Murray, which means Brighton are in dire need of more firepower to back up their impressive defensive record.
Though the Seagulls were solid at the back, they often struggled in front of goal, scoring just 34 goals this past season. Chris Hughton will be looking to acquire some raw talent before the start of pre-season in order to build a fluid and cohesive side.
Glenn Murray, who was their top scorer with 12 goals in the league, carried the responsibility of producing the goods along with Gross. The addition of Florin Andone should definitely relieve the duo of some pressure. The 25-year-old scored 18 goals in 69 appearances during his two seasons with Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna.
Andone, who has scored once in 21 appearances for Romania, played three times at Euro 2016. He moved to Spain at an early age and made his senior debut for second division side Castellon before joining Villarreal in 2013. Following a loan spell with Atletico Baleares, the forward moved on to Cordoba, where 27 goals in 58 games earned his transfer to Deportivo in 2016.
The Romanian striker averaged 1.6 shots and 0.6 dribbles per game, after making just 16 appearances in the league. He was often instrumental coming off the bench, scoring within minutes of being subbed on.
Pace and trickery are two of his key elements, tormenting defenders with his early runs into the box. The striker is also comfortable playing on both sides of the attack. Given his young age, the Romanian certainly has a lot to learn before he can be given a regular role in the team.
Chris Hughton will be looking to ease the striker into the squad before the season hits full tempo. However, given his composure at such a young age, the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.
Brighton and Hove Albion will be now aiming for a mid-table finish next season after marginally escaping the drop. Andone’s arrival at the Amex Stadium will boost Albion’s attacking options up front, which already include top-scorer Glenn Murray and record-signing Jurgen Locadia, ahead of their second successive season in the top flight.