Sami Hyypia was today hailed as “a great choice” for Albion – as his odds to become manager tumbled dramatically.

The former Liverpool and Finland defender has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Oscar Garcia.

He went from rank outsider to odds-on favourite during a dramatic few hours yesterday.

Chairman Tony Bloom has kept his cards close to his chest throughout the process of replacing Oscar, who resigned more than three weeks ago.

No appointment had been made last night but former Albion and Liverpool star Mark Lawrenson is convinced Hyypia would be a shrewd selection by the Seagulls.

Lawrenson told The Argus: “I think he would be a great choice.

“He is still relatively young. He is hands-on.

“He knows English football. Okay, he has been in the Premier League. But he is bright. He would soon learn about Championship “He didn’t do a bad job in Germany as far as I could see.”

Hyypia was hugely popular as a player at Anfield, making 464 appearances for the Reds.

He finished his career with Bayer Leverkusen and eventually became their manager, initially in partnership with Sascha Lewandowski.

Hyppia was sacked two months ago after two years in charge, despite a respectable win ratio of 54%.

However, he remained ambitious to manage in England and has also been linked with jobs at West Brom and Southampton.