De Zerbi is “culturally and technically ideally suited” to Brighton.

Roberto De Zerbi went straight to work as soon as he knew there was an opportunity to take over at Albion.

The initial contact was made through a third party.

Michele Criscitiello, SportItalia chief executive and De Zerbi’s longtime friend, told The Argus at the time: “He watches all Brighton games.

“Should the club express a specific interest, they would agree to come.”

Albion will have had several names in mind by this point.

But De Zerbi was their main target.

The deal was sealed during a trip to England in recent days that included an initial visit to Amex.

He watched a low-key private friendly against, ironically, members of the Chelsea team coached by his predecessor, Graham Potter.

In the statement confirming De Zerbi’s appointment to a four-year contract, Albion Vice Chairman and CEO Paul Barber said: “We looked at a number of excellent candidates but Roberto was our first choice from the start and the only person who we met talked to.

“It’s no secret that our chairman is constantly monitoring potential coaches as part of our succession planning, both here in our domestic leagues and across Europe and around the world.

“We believe Roberto is an ideal cultural and technical fit for Brighton and Hove Albion and is the right person to continue the club’s progress and to work alongside this outstanding group of players.” De Zerbi is “culturally and technically ideally suited” to Brighton.

Fry Electronics Team

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