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Roberto De Zerbi admits he didn't know who Brighton player was before club signed him

Roberto De Zerbi admits he didn't know who Brighton player was before club signed him

An honest admission from the Brighton boss.

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has admitted he didn't know who one of his current players was before they club signed him.

The Seagulls' transfer strategy largely revolves around a mathematical approach, where they sign mainly younger players with the aim of developing them into world stars.

That invariably means other clubs take interest in signing them, with the club making monstrous profits in selling the likes of Moises Caicedo and Marc Cucurella simply by having the right coaching methods and playing opportunities in place to support their development.

De Zerbi leads that development in his role as head coach, which means his job is primarily to coach players rather than take an active role in transfers behind the scenes.

One of the summer signings that has had a huge impact is forward Joao Pedro, who joined from Championship side Watford for £30 million.

The Brazilian has 15 goals already this season - he is the leading goalscorer in the Europa League - but De Zerbi bluntly revealed that he can't take any credit for his signing.

Speaking to the media after Brighton's 4-2 win over Stoke in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, the Italian said: "The signing of Joao Pedro is from the club. His name, I didn't know when he came to us.

"I think he is improving. I'm working for him. Playing for Brighton, his performance is enough, but I think to play at a higher level, I think he has to play 90 minutes [per game], not 70 minutes."

Pedro scored twice in the victory over the Potters - his fourth goal in his last three matches.

While he was in and out of the team regularly at the beginning of the season, the 22-year-old has nailed down his spot as Brighton's first-choice centre forward amid the injury absence of Evan Ferguson.

He has already scored more goals in all competitions for the Seagulls than he did for Watford over the entirety of last season, and will hope to add plenty more to his tally before the end of the campaign.

Featured Image Credit: Getty / Sky Sports

Topics: Brighton And Hove Albion, Roberto De Zerbi, Premier League, FA Cup, Football