Brighton & Hove Albion have earned a reputation as one of the best talent-developing clubs in the Premier League since their promotion in 2017.
The club’s shrewd approach to global scouting has enabled the Seagulls to bring in lesser-known names from across the world with the potential of selling them on for a major transfer profit, all while the team itself continues to go from strength to strength.
Chelsea’s summer move for Moises Caicedo set a new Premier League transfer record as they paid Brighton £115 million ($146 million) to bring the Ecuador international to Stamford Bridge in August.
However, 2024 is set to be another busy year in the transfer market, with Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma the latest name to be linked with a possible exit, after an impressive 12 months at the club.
For now, Mitoma has reportedly been rewarded with a new contract that will boost his earnings and potentially force any suitors into making significant transfer bids if they want to sign him.
Who is Kaoru Mitoma?
Mitoma joined Brighton from Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale in August 2021 with the Seagulls opting to send him on loan to Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise for the 2021/22 campaign.
His time in Belgium saw an impressive return of seven league goals from 27 appearances on the back of scoring 30 in two campaigns in Japan.
Mitoma’s early career in Japan famously included a decision not to join a professional team at the age of 18, as he wanted to focus on his education and avoid entering into full-time football too early. He studied at the University of Tsukuba, renowned as a centre of sporting excellence, from 2016 to 2019.
Alongside playing for the university team, Mitoma’s sports-focused course included a thesis on the art of dribbling, which has been put into practice during his time at Brighton.
Absolutely SENSATIONAL from Kaoru! ???????? pic.twitter.com/OuYa3UeSpA
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 19, 2023
Kaoru Mitoma Brighton goals, assists, stats
Mitoma scored seven Premier League goals and made five assists in his debut campaign in 2022/23, but his deeper statistics show just how effective he is in Brighton’s attack.
Based on data from the 2022/23 season, Mitoma was fifth for successful take-ons (58), second to Bukayo Saka for progressive carries (143) and only behind Mohamed Salah for carries into the penalty area (85).
That has been followed up by a superb start to 2023/24 and Brighton will be aware of the growing interest in the 26-year-old, who already has three goals in nine games in all competitions this season.
Kaoru Mitoma Brighton contract, wage, salary
Mitoma signed a four-year contract until 2025 on his initial arrival at Brighton back in 2021.
According to data from Spotrac, Mitoma’s Brighton wage is estimated to be around £520,000/$635,000 per year, which works out at £10,000/$12,000 per week, but reports from Football Insider claim it could be double that figure.
A report in London World in early October 2023 claimed Mitoma had agreed a new five-year deal with Brighton. The story from Chris Wheatley claims Mitoma’s wage will now rise significantly to £80,000/$97,500 per week, or £4.2 million/$5.1 million per year.
Kaoru Mitoma transfer value
As per the latest update from Transfermrkt.com, Mitoma’s transfer value is around £30m/$36.5m, but it is likely to be double that in reality if Brighton opt to sell in 2024.
He will almost certainly be worth much more than that figure if he does indeed sign a new contract that runs until 2028.
Will Kaoru Mitoma leave Brighton in 2024?
Premier League duo Manchester United and Manchester City are rumoured to be the main sides interested in making a move for Mitoma.
The Red Devils looking to offload Jadon Sancho amid the winger’s dispute with manager Erik ten Hag, while City were linked with Mitoma prior to signing Jeremy Doku in the summer.
Mitoma is rumoured to be happy at Brighton, but the chance to play Champions League football could be a tempting factor, with Pep Guardiola expressing his admiration for his wing wizardry.