New Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi received a seal of approval for choosing Albion from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
The 43-year-old Italian insisted he picked Brighton over a host of other managerial opportunities, and declared himself excited to succeed Graham Potter with the Seagulls.
Brighton deputy chairman Paul Barber branded De Zerbi a “natural fit” to take the club forward, after Potter left for Chelsea.
Barber and owner Tony Bloom insisted De Zerbi was on a shortlist of one to take the helm, with both club and new coach believing their qualities and vision align.
“Brighton strongly wanted me as a coach, and their style of play is very similar to my idea of football,” said De Zerbi.
“We met each other straight after we had started to talk. Of course, other teams were interested in me but I’m delighted to be here.
“I think we’re on the same wavelength and I’m sure we can do it well. I spoke to Pep (Guardiola) on Sunday evening, yes. He’s very happy that I’m on board here.
“He told me very good things about the club. And he told me that if I need he will be very happy to help me – but of course not in the match we are playing against them!”
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