GRAHAM Potter has heaped praise on “unique” Albion striker Neal Maupay.

The French striker had a difficult last 2020/21 season. Despite scoring eight goals and assisting three in 33 Premier League games, he had suffered some inconsistency in front of goal.

Like most of the team, last season Maupay struggled to find the back of the net on a regular basis, which contributed to the team’s relegation battle.

However, Maupay has been in great form this season, scoring four goals in eight Premier League games, with his last goal a crucial equaliser against Crystal Palace in the dying seconds of the game.

If the 25-year-old continues on his current scoring form, then he will surely break his record for goals in a Premier League season, which was ten in his debut campaign.

The Albion manager told TalkSport: “He is a unique guy, as they all are, you have to understand him.

“He came from the championship, and he’s scored goals for us in the Premier League, I think it is double figures in both seasons.”

“Last year, he felt it more than anybody, everybody saying that we are not scoring and he is the striker, and there is pressure.

“We were in a lockdown situation. You can’t see your friends and family, there is no release, and it can be difficult to go through that process.

“He is a young striker who thrives off scoring goals, and they get their confidence and belief in themselves from that. They step into the Premier League, and the reality is that it is harder to score in this league, especially when you play for a team like Brighton, no disrespect to us.”

The Argus: Neal Maupay has been in good form this seasonNeal Maupay has been in good form this season

Maupay’s goals this season have helped propel Albion up the Premier League table and into the top four of the table. The Seagulls are only behind Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, with the latter two up next for Graham Potter’s side.

In Potter’s interview with TalkSport, Trevor Sinclair also gave praise to the striker, although the former West Ham United winger was also conscious of the striker's “maverick” attitude.

He said: “I have been a fan of his for a while, the quality that he brings. But I think he is a bot of a maverick as well.

“For me looking at him as a player, I find that very difficult to coach because he is always on the edge.”

Maupay has been known to get on the nerves of other teams and their fans with some of his antics. He did this very well with his cupping of the ear celebration against Crystal Palace and his crying face celebration against Manchester United last season.

In the Palace match, Eagles star Wilfried Zaha took offence by the celebration, despite doing it to the Albion fans when he scored, and had some words with Maupay.

But these actions help a player endear himself to his own set of fans looking for a charismatic hero on the pitch.

The striker's goals this season have all come in crucial moments, his striker against Palace earned the team a point and he scored decisive goals in games against Burnley, Watford and Leicester City, contributing to Albion's positive start to the season.

His season got have gotten even better with a bit more luck against Norwich on the weekend after he was brought down by Tim Krul and was arguably denied a penalty by referee Graham Scott.

Maupay signed for Albion in 2019 from Brentford, costing the club a reported £20 million, signing a four-year deal. He started his career in Brighton in the best possible way, scoring on his debut in a 3-0 away victory against Watford.

The former OGC Nice academy product would score his first home goal for Albion in September 2019 in a 1-1 draw against Burnley. He would finish his debut season in the Premier League with ten goals, the top scorer in the team, five ahead of Leandro Trossard, who scored five.