'Criticism and failure' - Graham Potter makes surprising Neal Maupay admission ahead of Brentford
Neal Maupay will likely shoulder the bulk of the attacking duties as Brighton travel to newly-promoted Brentford on Saturday.
Maupay has two goals already this season and the international break should have allowed further time for his shoulder injury he sustained in the 2-0 victory against Watford to fully recover.
Albion will rely heavily on their Frenchman this weekend who will face his former club for the first time since joining the Seagulls from Brentford for £16m in August 2019.
Experienced attacker Danny Welbeck remains short of full match fitness as he eases his way back from a hamstring issue and Albion’s other recognised striker Aaron Connolly injured his glute while on international duty with Ireland and is doubtful.
Jurgen Locadia is the only other senior striker on the books and is unlikely to feature as he looks to get his career back on track after disappointing loan spells at Hoffenheim and FC Cincinnati.
Maupay, 25, has largely been a success since his arrival from west London where he scored 41 goals in 95 games for the Bees. He scored 10 goals in his first season in the top flight with the Seagulls and followed that with eight last term.
It’s a sound return for a striker operating in the lower reaches of the Premier League and plenty of attackers have arrived in the top tier for much more and delivered far less. Despite this,
Maupay has his critics but Potter feels he has developed well in the last two seasons.
“The Premier League exposes you to failure more than anywhere else in the world because you can go a long time without scoring, a long time without winning,” said the head coach.
“That brings criticism, disappointment and the experts saying you need to do something else, that you need to sign somebody else and you have to deal with that.
“I imagine he has grown as a person because of that experience. He’s learnt a lot about himself about how he deals with disappointment, with setback, with loss and failure.
“But he’s also scored goals, he contributes to the team performance. The team performance last year was on the whole really strong and Neal played his part in that.”
Dan Burn (knee) and Tariq Lamptey (hamstring) remain sidelined but Solly March (hamstring) should be available after missing the Everton loss prior to the international break. Potter also declared new £15m signing Marc Cuccurella fit and raring to go.
Midfielder Enock Mwepu is also available despite playing for Zambia in Mauritania last week.