Graham Potter believes new Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu is ready to be thrust into Premier League action having “made a real impression” since his big-money summer move.
Zambia international Mwepu is Albion’s only major signing of the transfer window so far following his arrival from Austrian club RB Salzburg for around £20million early last month.
The Seagulls begin the new campaign at Burnley on Saturday and head coach Potter has no concerns about the 23-year-old – who scored in a pre-season friendly at Luton a fortnight ago – making a swift transition to English football.
“He’s got the capability, there’s no doubt about that,” said Potter.
“He’s settled in well. It helps that he is the personality that he is: very, very likeable, mature, a humble guy, a team player, gets on with everybody, intelligent.
“He’s made a real impression on everybody, I think.
“And then on the pitch he brings a little bit of difference in terms of his qualities, his attributes.
“He’s scored already, can add goals from midfield; things to improve, of course, like everybody. But we’re happy with him and I think he’ll get better the longer he is with us.”
Brighton travel to Turf Moor ready to kick off their fifth successive season of top-flight action.
Potter guided the Seagulls to a club-record Premier League points tally of 41 in his first 12 months at the Amex Stadium before emulating that feat last term.
While the 46-year-old is keen to build on those achievements, he feels it would be foolish to look beyond top-flight survival as the primary objective.
“The established Premier League club I don’t think exists, to be honest, apart from about seven clubs,” he said.
“I think as soon as you think that, then you’re in trouble, especially at a club, a team where we are.
“You have to always remember that the main aim is to firstly stay in the Premier League and then to try to get as many points as you can.
“It’s not the toughest league in the world for nothing.”
Aside from Mwepu and back-up goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen, there has been little incoming transfer activity in Sussex amid persistent calls from Brighton fans for greater attacking options following the team’s persistent troubles to convert chances.
Potter, who will not be rushed into spending the money received from Ben White’s £50million departure to Arsenal, believes it is too simplistic to say goal-scoring is the only area of improvement required.
“Yes I think it is. It’s a strapline that is easy to say, but from our perspective we know we have to improve in all the areas and we’re up for that challenge,” he said.
“We’re two years into this journey together. We want to try and keep going, keep improving, rather than focus on one area, we want to try to improve everything.
“The players have come back from pre-season and have a really good attitude, a really good mentality, so we’re excited for the start of the season.”
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