Chris Hughton’s promoted side are battling admirably in their first Premier League campaign, currently sitting in 12 position. But they desperately lack firepower, averaging less than a goal per game thanks to their return of 15 from 21 fixtures, a lower tally than every side outside the bottom two.
Dipping into the January transfer market to boost their attacking options would be a wise move for the South Coast side, and Dembélé, linked with £40million moves to Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain less than six months ago, would have been a popular addition.
However, Sky Sports’ Christmas Day report has since been widely refuted, with the general feeling being that no such negotiations have taken place. But that doesn’t mean Brighton are not eying a move for the dynamic Frenchman.
Dembélé’s stock has fallen since the summer. Coming off the back of a 32-goal haul during Celtic’s unbeaten domestic treble charge last term, interest in the 21-year-old striker was high, but he has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth in Brendan Rodgers’ side this season, slipping behind Leigh Griffiths in the pecking order.
But the former Fulham youngster remains a player with huge potential, and one who could still be a real coup for Brighton. With his pace, movement and deadly finishing, the France Under-21 star could revitalise the Seagulls’ stagnant attack.
Glenn Murray is currently Brighton’s top scorer, with five goals to his name, having ousted Tomer Hemed in the No.9 role. Despite a downturn in form and a reduction in playing time, Dembélé, with six league strikes to his name, is still producing a better minutes-per-goal average (as the above graphic shows).
Of course, it must be considered that the Scottish Premiership doesn’t boast nearly the quality of the Premier League, and therefore the statistics are not directly comparable. But, from a stylistic point of view at least, Dembélé’s skillset would give Brighton more than their current strike duo are able to offer.