Simon Adingra shows exactly why Chelsea want the Brighton wide man

Simon Adringra leads his Brighton side
Simon Adringra leads his Brighton side

Simon Adingra ended the game without a goal or an assist but if you had polled 100 people who sat though a slowly simmering but eventually gently boiling 90-odd minutes, a minimum of 99 would have made him man of the match for Brighton’s precious 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

From the first minute to his mercy substitution, Villa right-back Ezri Konsa was twisted, turned and eventually left grasping at the electric Adingra.

Second-choice Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen had denied Pascal Gross after he had been released by Adingra; Pau Torres had denied Danny Welbeck after an inch-perfect ball across the box from Adingra; Olsen saved again to deny Joao Pedro after being set up by Adingra; Julio Inciso denied himself by firing over after a delicious floating ball from Adringra.

Chelsea were rather busy pummelling West Ham to watch Brighton beating Aston Villa but the highlights will do nothing to dampen their reported interest in Adingra, especially on an afternoon when his five created chances could be easily and rather flatteringly compared with another forgettable performance from Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Eventually Konsa took matters literally into his hands and Adingra was brought down for a penalty that was initially saved by the surprisingly excellent Olsen, before Joao Pedro headed past him to become the first Brighton player to score in the Premier League since the end of March.

There had been over nine hours of Premier League football played by Brighton since Welbeck scored against Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat that began a six-game winless run that threatened to pull Brighton into Crystal Palace territory. And Brighton fans are no longer used to being in Crystal Palace territory.

That Brighton needed a penalty (and subsequent rebound) to beat Villa felt like a return to the days of the Seagulls being the xG champions of all they survey, because a Villa side on their knees after an exhausting season offered very little resistance. In xG terms, this was basically 3-0, and that flattered the away side.

They can be very thankful that there is no chasing pack for the final Champions League spot because they look exhausted. John McGinn, Ollie Watkins, Douglas Luiz and Konsa have all now played over 4000 minutes of football this season and it shows.

But this game was about Brighton and a chance to stop a rot that had threatened to spoil a historic season of European football. It’s worth regaining a sense of perspective; this is likely to be their third-best Premier League season ever and it comes after they lost the entirety of their first-choice central midfield and their goalkeeper last summer.

Yes, it has been a disappointment, but only because we have ludicrous expectations of what they should achieve after the last two ridiculous years. And it might have been worth that half-season blip if it keeps Roberto De Zerbi at the club for another season.

Now the battle is on to keep Adingra at the club for another season too; they should only sell to Chelsea if they bid silly money. The good news is of course that they usually only bid silly money.