By Ed Elliot, PA
Graham Potter believes Marc Cucurella’s club-record £60million departure to Chelsea shows Brighton have a recruitment process to be proud of.
Albion were reluctant to lose the defender but managed to negotiate a profit of almost £45million on a player purchased from Spanish side Getafe less than 12 months ago.
The Seagulls have now received around £150million in transfer fees during the past year following the sales of Ben White to Arsenal, Dan Burn to Newcastle and Yves Bissouma to Tottenham.
“It’s part of our strategy, to allow us to continue to develop,” said head coach Potter, who guided the south-coast club to a maiden top-half Premier League finish last term.
“Buying players is the easy part; selling players at the right time for the right price is the difficult bit.
“And the last three windows it’s around £150million worth of player sales we’ve made which is no small feat, something to be proud of from a recruitment perspective, from a development perspective.
“Credit to the players because ultimately it’s them that play the game and get themselves in that position.
“Our job now is to try to improve, to try to go forward and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Former Barcelona youth player Cucurella was crowned Brighton’s player of the year following an impressive maiden season in English football and was heavily linked with champions Manchester City before switching to Stamford Bridge.
While lucrative, the 24-year-old’s exit just two days before Albion start the new season at Manchester United is far from ideal.
The Seagulls have managed to soften his unwelcome sale by bringing Chelsea’s England Under-21 defender Levi Colwill in the other direction on a season-long loan.
Potter insisted transfer talks regarding Cucurella have not been a distraction ahead of taking on Erik ten Hag’s new-look United side and feels the final deal is beneficial for all parties.
“We didn’t want to sell him and we didn’t need to sell him,” said Potter.
“But, at the same time, you understand that if a Champions League club comes with Champions League resources and finance and the player indicates there’s a desire to do it then it’s very difficult for us.
“Then we have to make sure we get the right fee, I think the right fee has been got.
“It’s another situation where everybody’s won in terms of the player’s got a great opportunity, the selling club have got a good fee and the buying club have got a good player, so win, win, win all around.
“Marc was a fantastic player for us, great guy, I like him a lot so I wish him well and we move forward as a group.”
Colwill, who helped Huddersfield reach the Sky Bet Championship play-offs last season, could be involved in the Seagulls’ opener at Old Trafford.
“He’s a young player with some really nice attributes, huge potential,” Potter said of the 19-year-old.
“He adds quality, he had a good loan last year at Huddersfield and he adds good competition for places.
“Obviously we’ve lost a left-sided defender so he comes in and adds support in that area.”