There has never been anything quite like it at Albion.

Eleven players have been signed to replace the 12 released, returned to their clubs after loan spells or sold since the end of last season.

The capture of Sam Baldock from Bristol City completed a flurry of seven signings in 12 days, which began almost a week into the new season with the arrival on loan from Liverpool of Joao Teixeira.

With all due respect to Nzuzi Toko, Aaron Hughes, Chris O'Grady and David Stockdale, it is the Seagulls' version of the Magnificent Seven which has changed results and the mood, captured the imagination of supporters.

It began with the impacts made by Teixeira and Danny Holla at Leeds. Aston Villa pair Joe Bennett and Gary Gardner, Paddy McCourt, Adrian Colunga and Baldock have also been added since then.

The vast majority of the signings, including Hughes and Stockdale, bring to varying eyecatching degrees experience of top flight football in England, Holland and Spain.

The most intriguing aspect of the squad rebuild under Sami Hyypia is the shift of philosophy up front.

There is no longer an Ulloa, Murray or Zamora, a target man-type focal point of the attack.

Baldock, Colunga and Craig Mackail-Smith are all well under six-foot. The target man alternative, O'Grady, is likely to be used from the bench rather than the start.

The abundance of vertically challenged, nippy, darting options fits in with the Finn's wingerless systems.

We have already seen 4-1-2-3, 4-1-2-2-1, 4-4-1-1. Hyypia is combining Southern European technical accomplishment in possession and mobility with a more Northern European tempo and directness.

The width is provided by advanced full-backs, the chances for a narrower strike force by the players who like to operate, in modern coaching speak, 'between the lines', exploiting pockets of space in the area dividing the opposition defence and midfield.

Hyypia's choices there are now multiple. In fact, his choices are plentiful everywhere.

Discerning the pecking order for the back six looks relatively straightforward. Stockdale in goal, Bruno or Inigo Calderon at right-back, any combination of Gordon Greer, Lewis Dunk, Aaron Hughes in the centre, backed up by Vitalijs Maksimenko.

Bennett at left-back with Adam Chicksen as cover, Holla the holding midfielder, Rohan Ince followed by Toko to deputise.

Now it gets complicated. Gardner, Jake Forster-Caskey, Andrews Crofts, Kemy Agustien and Dale Stephens - once the latter pair are fit - will be vying for what can best be described as orthodox midfield spots.

The attack-minded and attacking mix is frighteningly extensive: Teixeira, McCourt, the currently sidelined Kazenga LuaLua and Solly March, Baldock, Colunga, Mackail-Smith, O'Grady.

Albion's transfer business appears to be high in both quantity and quality, encouraging the belief they have now assembled a squad capable of challenging for the play-offs again after those disturbing opening defeats against Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham.

There are tougher tests to come, tougher than tomorrow's visitors to the Amex, Charlton, who have started the season surprisingly well.

Late September to early December will tell us more, a period in which Albion tackle Nottingham Forest, Cardiff, Watford, Middlesbrough, Wigan, Blackburn, Norwich and Derby.

The depth in the squad will enable the element of rotation Hyypia prefers to cope with the exhausting demands of the Championship and bursts of midweek fixtures, accentuated by the international breaks.

Try picking the team to face Charlton. Tricky isn't it, especially that front five?

That is Hyypia's problem. And it's a nice one to have.