Brighton & Hove Albion broke their transfer record in signing defender Adam Webster from Bristol City in the summer, but will Lee Johnson be regretting his departure?
6th in the Championship after 14 games of the season, Lee Johnson can have few complaints about his team’s performance so far this season.
The Robins’ season got off to a defeat at home to Leeds United, but after that they went ten games unbeaten in the league to land themselves in the top-six.
After the international break this month, their unbeaten run came to an unexpected halt at Kenilworth Road, where Luton Town dealt Bristol a 3-0 defeat.
A late comeback win against Charlton Athletic followed and restored their top-six spot, but Johnson will have wanted more from a 2-2 draw at home to Wigan Athletic last weekend, where Pedro Pereira had to rescue a late point for Bristol.
Such defensive woes remind Bristol fans of Webster’s presence at the back last season.
The 24-year-old centre-back spent just one season at Ashton Gate after signing from Ipswich Town for a reported fee of £3.5 million, and last summer moving to the south coast in a deal worth a reported £20 million.
He played all but two of Bristol’s Championship fixtures last season as they narrowly missed out on a play-off spot, but started the season with Brighton as a substitute.
Having played in all but one of Brighton’s last nine games though, and getting off the mark for season against Aston Villa earlier this month, Webster is quickly becoming a regular starter for Graham Potter, and is proving his worth to the club in the Premier League.
Will Bristol City be promoted from the Championship this season?
It would’ve been hard for Johnson to turn down such a lucrative bid for Webster, and the player would likely have kicked-up a fuss if Johnson had tried to block his move into the top-flight.
With the money received from the Webster transfer, Johnson was able to break his own club’s transfer record with the signing of Tomas Kalas from Chelsea, with the likes of Jay Dasilva and Han-Noah Massengo moving to the club as well.
Johnson though will be wary of his side’s defensive frailties this season.
His side has only kept three clean sheets this season, conceding 19 – this is compared to six clean sheets and 14 goals conceded by this stage last season with Webster in the defence.