Why Brighton should continue to rely on Florin Andone in the days to come
According to Sky Sports, Florin Andone had a £17.5million release clause in his contract at Deportivo La Coruna but that fee depreciated to a meagre £5.25million following the club’s relegation from the La Liga.
The Romanian was a long-term target for Brighton and Hove Albion and the Seagulls swooped for him at exactly the right moment following Deportivo’s relegation.
The 25-year-old was handed his debut by Chris Hughton in the final 12 minutes of Brighton’s 3-1 loss against Everton last month. He didn’t have much time to make a difference in three substitute appearances against Everton, Cardiff and Leicester but the Romanian proved his worth in his first start in the Premier League against Huddersfield Town.
With the game tied at 1-1, Andone cleverly lost his marker in the box and got in front of his man to head home an inch-perfect cross from Solly March, securing all three points for the Seagulls. It was a clear evidence of the poaching ability that the Romanian possesses and he proved that he is capable of delivering even better goals, when Brighton played host to Crystal Palace in the mid-week clash.
Coming on as a late first-half substitute for the injured Glenn Murray, Andone made an immediate impact on the game. Completely isolated in the other half as Brighton were trying to deal with a Palace attack, Andone outpaced James Tomkins to latch onto a clearance from inside his own half.
Using his ball control and pace to cut inside from the left, Andone beat Tomkins for the second time with his guile to find the net from a near-impossible angle, giving Brighton a 3-0 lead in first-half stoppage-time.
That should probably go down as one of the best solo goals of the season so far. Chris Hughton should be a pleased man to see his summer recruit pay the dividends and Florin Andone is the name on the lips of the fans after goals in back-to-back games.
Brighton climbed up to 10th in the Premier League standings with those two consecutive wins against Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace and Andone scored the winner on both occasions.
The emergence of Florin Andone has added another dimension to Brighton’s attack, reducing the overreliance on Glen Murray to come up with the crucial strikes. While Murray, 35, mostly relies on his instincts to get into scoring positions, Andone is certainly an upgrade on him. The Romanian not only has sharper instincts than Murray but is also capable of using his pace and guile to lose his marker and make subtle runs in behind the opposition’s backline.
In Pascal Gross and Davy Propper, Brighton have two high-quality midfielders who are capable of supplying the attackers from the central areas of the pitch while Solly March is another key figure in Brighton’s attack who likes to drift to the wide areas to feed the centre-forward.
Hence, Andone is not going to run short of supply in the attacking third at his new club. He doesn’t have a jaw-dropping goalscoring record at Deportivo, having registered 18 goals and 6 assists from 69 appearances across all competitions but the fans have every reason to expect more from their new signing after a wonderful start to life in England.
While Glenn Murray continues to be an integral part of Brighton’s attack, Andone has already shown signs that he is the right man to take the club forward and Chris Hughton should continue to hand him more starts in the coming days.