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De Zerbi: Brighton Stars Destined for ‘Another Level’

Roberto De Zerbi’s Defence of Expected Brighton Exits

Elevating Brighton: Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister’s Success

Roberto de Zerbi, Brighton’s shrewd skipper, vocally backs his marquee stars Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister, hinting at the players’ potential to “deserve to play in another level”, as rival clubs circle the talent pool.

The Italian, known for his clear-sighted vision, has steered the Seagulls to a historic first-time qualification for European football. Regardless, de Zerbi would not deny either player the chance to ascend further. As he succinctly put it, “When I work, I think for myself, I think for my club – but I still think for the players.”

He continued, with unwavering respect for his stars, “The players have one career, one life and we can’t decide for them.”

Brighton’s Bid Refusal and Players’ Prospects

Despite Brighton swatting away a meaty £70m bid from Arsenal for Ecuadorian dynamo Caicedo in the January transfer window, and despite World Cup-winning Argentinian Mac Allister being linked with a Merseyside move this summer, the south coast team’s European qualification has sparked hope that these coveted midfielders might stick around.

De Zerbi spoke of the uncertainty around Wednesday’s climactic game against title-holders Manchester City, saying, “It can be the last game but I don’t know.” He showed faith in their potential, acknowledging, “They can have the possibility to change [clubs] because they deserve to play in another level.”

While the final decision lies with Brighton’s owner, Tony Bloom, de Zerbi emphasised the newfound lure of Brighton, stating, “But now we can offer them the possibility to play in Europe because our level is bigger now. We can offer them one possibility more.”

Photo: IMAGO

Aiming for the Europa League

Despite almost certainly securing a sixth-place finish in the Premier League due to their superior goal difference over Aston Villa, Brighton still harbours ambitions of achieving even more. “The focus is to play seriously,” the Brighton manager said, confirming his team’s unwavering aim to qualify for the Europa League in the last game of the season against Aston Villa.

In De Zerbi’s words, “We have a big, big, big target – bigger than Conference League because we expect Conference League. If we have the possibility to play in a more prestigious competition, we have to try it.”

A Mutual Admiration: De Zerbi and Guardiola

The mutual admiration between De Zerbi and Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, adds a layer of respect to the competitive game. Guardiola hails De Zerbi as “one of the most influential managers in the last 20 years”. The Brighton boss responded graciously, crediting Guardiola with aiding his adjustment to English football.

“My opinion is he is the best coach in the Premier League and the best coach in the last 30 years. It’s my opinion but I think a lot of people think like me,” said de Zerbi, exhibiting the camaraderie and respect amongst football’s elite.

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