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Guardiola makes a big impression on Potter

Brighton boss Graham Potter says Pep Guardiola is the most influential coach of his lifetime and admired by managers across the world.

Potter is preparing to pit his wits against Manchester City manager Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in Albion’s “toughest” game of the season.

The 44-year-old last season suffered a narrow 3-2 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Guardiola’s side while in charge of former club Swansea.

Asked at a pre-match press conference if he analysed the Spaniard’s methods, Potter replied: “I think everybody (does), I think he’s had that influence on football.

“In my lifetime, I can’t think of anybody more so in terms of how he affected Barcelona and then Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.

“I think before he came the Premier League was seen as ‘anybody can beat anybody’ – (almost) 200 points (in two seasons) later, it’s not quite the same. And that’s his influence.

“I think he’s one that everybody looks up to.”

Speaking about facing City, Potter continued: “It’s excitement and it’s a great challenge that you play against the best team.

“It’s always a fantastic opportunity to play against the champions, especially at their home.

“It is the toughest challenge you are going to get but a great opportunity for us to learn about ourselves.”

Potter, meanwhile, has allowed striker Jurgen Locadia to join Bundesliga club Hoffenheim on a season-long loan for an undisclosed fee.

Locadia, who arrived from PSV Eindhoven in January 2018 for a reported £14million, has managed just six goals in 43 Albion appearances in all competitions.

The 25-year-old Dutchman started the opening-day win at Watford but has been a substitute in the past two games and Potter feels the switch will give the player a better chance of regular first-team football.

“Since I arrived, Jurgen’s trained really well and been great to work with, but I also appreciate it’s been a frustrating time for him ever since he signed for the club for a number of reasons,” Potter told Albion’s website.

“He wants to play week in, week out and this move presents a real opportunity for him to go and get some games and goals in a top European league.

“The offer came in and suited both clubs so we wish him well, it’s the right thing for him.”

Albion will be without suspended forward Florin Andone against the champions as he serves the second match of a three-game ban for his reckless red card in last weekend’s home defeat to Southampton.

The Romania’s enforced absence and Locadia’s departure could see 19-year-old striker Aaron Connolly included in Potter’s squad to face City.

Connolly scored the opening goal in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win at Bristol Rovers, while 20-year-old Steven Alzate has also impressed Potter at the Memorial Ground.

“We’re in a good position for Jurgen to make this move, on the back of the great progress some of the younger players have made over the summer, and in particular Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate,” Potter told the club website.

“Those two have been excellent throughout pre-season, not looked out of place with the first-team squad and showed on Tuesday night that they are capable of producing for us at first-team level.”