Championship outfit Brighton & Hove Albion scripted one of the fairytale-like seasons on the English soil last month as they carved an automatic promotion spot by clinching the second spot in the English second division table.
Chris Hughton did a commendable job as he got his tactical nous spot on, more often than not, as the Seagulls dominated the Championship for a major chunk last term despite the money splashed by the likes of Newcastle United and Aston Villa.
Their failure to clinch the Sky Bet Championship didn’t affect their rising stature by any means and having earned a promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history, the mood amongst the Albion faithful was an elated one, for the long wait of 34 years to return to the top flight finally ended.
However, Hughton isn’t unfamiliar with the animosity which the Premier League would have on offer and considering the fact that they would be striving to keep themselves away from the relegation dogfight next season, keeping the group cohesion intact was always going to be of paramount importance for the former Norwich City manager and apparently, he has just done the needful.
It has been confirmed that Steve Sidwell has signed a new one-year deal with the Sussex-based club after he proved to be one of the most influential figures for the club last season. Sidwell’s extension implies that Hughton is keen to keep working with the players he had at his disposal and repay them for their relentless toil after having earned the promotion.
The former Stoke City man mustered 34 appearances last term with Brighton and scored 1 goal in the process. Besides, being a central midfielder, Sidwell was able to make 2.5 tackles, 2.4 interceptions, 2.2 clearances and 0.7 blocks per game on an average as his quality and experience proved to be vital for the club.
The Englishman is a clever defence-minded midfielder who might not offer a lot of creativity or goals but his blocking, intercepting and tackling skills are still exemplary. Over the years, he has earned a lot of appreciation owing to his tremendous work-rate, courageousness of not refraining from getting into tight areas and is a cool and composed player in the middle of the park.
Besides, the 34-year-old is a seasoned campaigner who is well accustomed to the rigours and toils which the Premier League offers. With the truckload of experience he has, he could be an impetus in ensuring that Brighton stay in the top tier beyond the upcoming season.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored