Could new Brighton manager Chris Hughton call on Norwich City for recruitment?
06:00 01 January 2015
Chris Hughton is back in football management with Brighton & Hove Albion – and may find some of his early calls heading the way of his former employer.
Nearly nine months since the 56-year-old’s Carrow Road sacking, Hughton has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Championship strugglers, replacing Sami Hyypia who resigned last month.
Hughton has Championship pedigree, having led Newcastle to the title in 2009-10 and Birmingham to the play-offs two seasons later – ahead of his move back to the Premier League with Norwich. He takes over an Albion outfit outside the relegation zone on goal difference. His first game is Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Brentford – where Hughton finished his playing career.
• Watch the latest edition of Mustard TV’s Norwich City fanzine Three Up Front
Transfer dealings will be high on Hughton’s early priority list – and that may include City winger Elliott Bennett, who has just completed his loan spell on the south coast.
“He’s a player I know well,” said Hughton. “Unfortunately for Elliott he missed most of last season after having a really good pre-season and starting that first game. But Elliott’s just one of a few we have to discuss over the coming weeks.”
Securing a loan or permanent return for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is likely to be top of Hughton’s list – although below that could feature some familiar names.
The future of Sebastien Bassong – signed by Hughton at Norwich and Newcastle – remains up in the air following the completion of his loan spell at Watford, while fellow City signings Mark Bunn and Javi Garrido have seen minimal involvement at City this term.
However, as has been a constant theme from Carrow Road, City are under no pressure to let players leave and do not plan on letting anyone do so against their wishes.
• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey