Brighton make £16m offer waiting for january

Bundesliga Player of the Month Victor Boniface looks set to net Bayer Leverkusen another substantial payday in the future following his explosive goalscoring exploits in Germany

Brighton appear to have made a rare blunder in the transfer market after letting the signing of Nigeria international striker Victor Boniface slip through the net.

The 22-year-old frontman has just been named the Bundesliga Player of the Month following a blistering start to his Bayer Leverkusen career after netting eight goals in his opening seven outings under Xabi Alonso prior to this weekend’s action.

Leverkusen signed Boniface for just £16million from Brighton’s sister club Union Saint-Gilloise, who were previously owned by Albion chairman Tony Bloom prior to this summer. Bloom has since relinquished his majority stake in the Belgian side in July after Brighton secured qualification for the Europa League last season.Victor Boniface: I'm different because I don't watch strikers - Pulse  Sports Nigeriamove was made to reaffirm that USG remained a separate entity from Brighton following communication that UEFA were prepared to investigate the relationship between the two clubs, who are now competing in the same competition. But despite the segregation, the Seagulls have previously made the most of their bond with their Belgian counterparts, cherry-picking Union’s top talents including the Kaoru Mitoma, Deniz Undav and Simon Adingra.

Intriguingly, Brighton were in the market for a new striker earlier this summer – landing Joao Pedro from Watford in a club-record £30m deal for Roberto De Zerbi. However, the Seagulls opted to swerve a deal for Boniface after he netted 22 goals and registered 12 assists in all competitions at club level last season.

Now a cluster of Premier League clubs will be paying close attention to Boniface’s dramatic rise to stardom in Germany. He looks poised to net Leverkusen another substantial payday in the future although the Nigerian will be in no rush to depart Alonso’s side as they continue to make huge strides under their highly-coveted head coach

Alonso recently paid tribute to his outstanding centre-forward, who looks set to rival Harry Kane and Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy for the Bundesliga Golden Boot this season.

“He’s not just a classic striker, not just a bomber – he’s complete,” said Alonso after Boniface netted a brace against newly-promoted Darmstadt. “We are happy with him, he has scored four goals so far, but we expect more.”

Speaking to German magazine Kicker, former Belgium boss Marc Wilmots claimed he immediately noticed Boniface had all the tools to become a hit in the Premier League when he saw the striker in action with Union.

He said: “I saw Boniface live 10 times in Belgium and immediately said: What kind of striker is that? He has everything. I quickly said that he is the best striker in the Belgian league and can move to Germany or even England. Leverkusen will have a lot of fun with him.

“If he increases his quota and scores 15 to 20 goals – he has the opportunity to play for a top club in the Premier League. His goal must be to move to one of the top six there in two or three years.”

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