Levi Colwill: A 'Potter' player...
Levi Colwill applauds Huddersfield fans last season [Getty Images]

It has been evident that since Graham Potter’s arrival at Brighton in 2019, a left-footed, progressive central defender has been on the shopping list. 

Levi Colwill looks set to become just that, with a move that could well be completed from Chelsea, seemingly when Marc Cucurella finalises his move the other way.

Colwill spent the season on loan at Huddersfield in the Championship last season. The 2003-born talent made 32 appearances in the league and chipped in with two goals. A calm, and composed individual, very comfortable on the left side of the defence, covering the left side of a back three and can fill left-back. The starlet has an ability to drive forward into attack, ideal for Graham Potter’s Brighton, who tend to play with attacking wide defenders, as later discussed in this piece. Colwill holds a strong stamina tank to be able to see out the big games. Levi Colwill has a rare ability as a young defender, not just the strong left foot, but the ability to command a team in the Championship at just 19-years-old is testament to not only his ability but also his character as a player; he holds all the marks of a future England international. 

Colwill came through the Chelsea academy, joining in 2011 at the under-9 level, he was introduced to the youth England national teams; making appearances from u16-u21. In his early international career; Colwill won the u17 Syrenka cup, and made his u21 debut in March 2022. 

  • The System: Where does Colwill fit?

Graham Potter has played a back three in the majority of his time as Albion coach. A progressive back-three that now is, ‘Potterball’ consists of a rather outside-of-the-box approach. Lewis Dunk, the captain, leads the back line in a deeper role, while two wide attacking defenders take the other two positions; now likely to be Adam Webster right, and Colwill left. This ultimately allows the freedom for both wing-backs to act as attackers, opening space in, what already is, a talented midfield; Enock Mwepu and Moisés Caicedo shared remarkable joy from the new system towards the end of the 2021/22 season. Leandro Trossard was the latest to profit from the system. Due to Marc Cucurella’s absence in the penultimate game of the pre-season, Trossard filled the boots at left-wing-back against Espanyol and scored only the third ever hat-trick at the Amex as a Brighton player. A well-working system.

Dan Burn was the last player to operate in the system, before making his £12million transfer to Newcastle United in January 2022. Burn took to the left-centre-back role well, and was arguably the best player at the club before his departure, particularly in his last 3 months as a Brighton player. Ben White was previous in 2020/21, despite playing on the right side of defence; won player of the season (albeit controversially), and was awarded an England call-up to the Euros by Gareth Southgate. Colwill is likely to have a similar impact, although will likely be given a cautious integration by Brighton into the starting XI. 

All things considered, Levi Colwill has the potential to be a top signing for Brighton. Under a forward-thinking manager like Graham Potter, he will be able to showcase the rare talents of an attacking defender - something football had rarely seen prior to the past few years. 
 

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