Monday, 13 January 2014

Grabban interest - Brighton look with envious eyes

Brighton Hove & Albion FC may look on with envious eyes at AFCB's Lewis Grabban having sold Ashley Barnes to Burnley, but it would be a surprise if Grabban wanted to leave the Cherries. The inform striker has obviously attracted attention having reached double figures in his first Championship season. Lewis has been the mainstay of the Cherries attack and is a key player who I believe Eddie Howe is looking to build the team around as he seeks an extended stay in the Championship.
Grabban is AFCB's leading striker. The cupboard goal
could be a little bare if he wants to leave. 
Strikers are the most difficult players to bring into any club and the prospect of losing Grabban would make AFCB fans wonder what the ambitions of the club really are considering Pitman and Ritchie are the clubs next highest scorers on five goals each. Meanwhile, top signing Tokelo Rantie remains on one goal. Letting an inform Championship striker go could mean plunging into a relegation battle. Having seen Lewis sign a new deal in November that keeps him at the club until June 2016, Brighton would have to stump up a figure well in excess of market value for AFCB to even consider selling such a prized asset. At present, no official or formal bid has said to have been made, so any discussion is speculation.  

Brighton may be able to offer Grabban more money which would be an incentive, but if he is already getting noticed at AFCB then there is nothing to say that bigger offers from other clubs could come in for him this summer. If Lewis does have a release clause I would hope that he has some good advisers if Brighton make an acceptable bid, because he is well liked at AFCB and Eddie Howe has openly stated that Lewis is critical to the way the team plays.

I suspect that losing Lewis Grabban is the last thing AFCB would want to see happen, even if they have potential targets of their own who could be replacements. However, you can never say never. Financially there could be a need to sell some players. I do believe that Eddie Howe expects interest in his players this window - hence Grabban's extended contract. But Eddie has consistently stated that he is looking to build and add to the team. In which case potential chasers of Lewis Grabban may have to bide their time or simply look elsewhere.

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