Why Brighton must secure Aaron Mooy's future
Background Image: Simon Carey, CC BY-SA 2.0
Aaron Mooy's importance to Brighton has been summed up over the past few weeks, with the Australian coming up big over the hectic Christmas period. With six minutes left on the clock during the home game against AFC Bournemouth, Mooy's name would be on the substitutes board. Their fans swiftly sounded their appreciation after yet another quality outing from the midfielder.
If Graham Potter knows what's good for his fast-evolving Brighton side, he would swiftly snap up Mooy on a permanent deal before the bigger clubs all come knocking at Huddersfield Town's door for his signature.
Mooy has quickly become a player amongst the most underrated commodities in the Premier League - which is a true representation of the kind of impact that Potter is trying to make upon the south coast. We've seen Mooy in the Premier League before while playing for The Terriers but despite his best efforts, the 29-year-old couldn't save Huddersfield Town from the dreaded drop. Everybody understood the situation. Mooy was just too good for second-division football and credit to Brighton for snapping him up, albeit only temporarily for now.
With the January transfer window well and truly underway, Potter should make signing Mooy permanently a top priority and his performance against Bournemouth showed all the reasons why. Eddie Howe's side couldn't handle the creative midfielder, with Mooy only needed three minutes to showcase his talents. The 29-year-old would intercept possession and then drive through the Bournemouth midfield before picking out Neal Maupay who set up Alireza Jahanbakhsh for Brighton's opening goal. The assist to the assister if you will, with an excellent piece of play.
Mooy also has an eye for a goal, turning from provider into finisher for Brighton's second against Huddersfield. The Aussie would pick up a cross from Leandro Trossard on his chest, before swivelling away from the challenge of Chris Mepham and expertly finding the top corner to all-but secure all three points for The Seagulls. It was a real touch of class from a man who's stock continues to rise.
Sitting at the tip of Potter's diamond midfield setup, Mooy is an efficient attacking midfielder, who links up play between the deep-lying players and the forwards, enhances the press, drives the whole team up the pitch becoming the focal point for a counter-attack. The Australian also has the defensive nous to break up opposition attacks and is also gifted with a range of passing that only a few players in the Premier League can match.
Just to add to his impressive skillset, Mooy is also efficient from the set-pieces situation. His all-round game is why interest in him has spiked and you certainly won't back against him turning up for a bigger Premier League side in the near future. Clubs like Everton, or maybe even Arsenal could come calling if Brighton doesn't act quickly.
The Australian is a true ball technician, a master of forward-progression and is arguably the key reason why Brighton are proving to be a far more exciting watch this term. Despite only being involved in two of Brighton's goals in the Premier League (1 goal, 1 assist), his importance to Potter runs pretty deep. Much of their passing into the final third goes through Mooy, largely thanks to his overall intelligence and experience.
At this stage, Mooy isn't getting any younger and it's unclear whether his immediate future will be at the Amex or on a grander stage elsewhere. However, if Graham Potter harbours any ambitions to elevate Brighton Football Club to that next level, then securing the permanent signature of Aaron Mooy should be atop his agenda right now...