Maik Walpurgis is not quite so keen about Albion's capture of Markus Suttner and Pascal Gross from Ingolstadt as Chris Hughton.

Hughton's counterpart at the German club relegated from the Bundesliga is upset about losing two of his star players.

The response of Walpurgis? "I wonder if the English no longer have any footballers and must always buy a player in Germany?"

His frustration is understandable - but then so is the Seagulls' concentration on the European market in evolving the squad for their Premier League debut.

Completing the capture of former Austria international left-back Suttner, 30, in his homeland yesterday morning here in Leogang on a three-year deal, after a protracted stand-off over the price, follows the earlier signings of German No.10 Gross (below) and Australian No.1 Maty Ryan from Valencia.

The Argus: Reports in Germany claimed the 'undisclosed' fee for Suttner is around £3.8 million, although The Argus understands it is considerably less than that.

Ryan is a record buy and yet, if you put Albion's three deals so far together, the total they have spent is just over £10 million.

That is a fraction of what it would cost for players of equivalent top-level pedigree and experience in England.

Suttner, for example, apart from his Bundesliga and international background, also represented his first club, FK Austria Wien, in the Champions League and Europa League.

Albion are not alone in looking beyond the inflated domestic market. Nearly half of the 50 or so deals done by Premier League clubs so far this summer have been foreign players signed from abroad.

If Hughton picked his side to face Manchester City at the Amex on the opening day of the season now, it would probably include six non-British players, a figure likely to rise by the time the squad revamp is complete.

The attraction of the move for Suttner is transparent. He told The Argus: "If you come from Austria, you look at German and English football. The best players, the best teams are here.

"It's fast football, faster than Germany, and it's harder. When you see it on TV it's fantastic. I want to be part of it.

"It's not easy to get out of Austria. Two years ago it was possible to go to Ingolstadt. I had two good years there. Last year was really good for me - not good for the team - and so it's the perfect step now.

"I want to be in a team with character. I've heard only good things about the team."

Suttner looks, on paper, a step up from Seb Pocognoli, the Belgian left-back they had on loan from West Brom last season and decided not to sign.

Pocognoli, now back at Standard Liege, will be best remembered by supporters for a stunning free-kick in the vital victory at QPR rather than a poor final appearance at Aston Villa, where Albion were denied at the last-gasp the victory they required to clinch the Championship title.

Suttner, relieved the saga of his move is finally over, is a dead ball specialist too.

He said: "It's been a really long time. Talks started at the end of the season. Now it's finished I'm very happy.

"At this point in my career it's the perfect stage. I've played in the Bundesliga and now it's a chance to see the Premier League. I hope I can help with a few set pieces and with my game, which is full of passion.

"I want to lead the team. I will do everything to be a success at Brighton and to stay in the League."

For Hughton, completing the signing of Suttner is another piece in the jigsaw. "Markus is someone we have been aware of for some time," he said. "I am pleased we have managed to complete the transfer at this stage.

"He has a great level of experience internationally and in the top divisions in both his native Austria and Germany, where he has played the last two seasons with Ingolstadt, and that experience will serve us well.

The Argus: "He will add competition at the back on the left side of defence."

Albion remain keen to borrow versatile young defender Joe Gomez (above) from Liverpool as extra competition and cover for an experienced full-back quartet of Suttner, skipper Bruno, Gaetan Bong and Liam Rosenior.

That makes sense, considering Hughton has to name a 25-man Premier League squad for September to December once the transfer window shuts at the end of August.

Both Bong and Rosenior have missed chunks of their two seasons with the club through injury. It would not take much wear and tear for the Seagulls to suddenly look short of options.