Brighton and Hove Albion will take part in the first Premier League campaign in their history next season, and fans of the Seagulls will look forward to welcoming giants such as Manchester United and Chelsea to the AMEX Stadium from August.
Success this season has been achieved on the back of some stand out performances, including those of PFA Championship Player of the Year, Anthony Knockaert, and commanding centre half, Lewis Dunk.
Striker Glenn Murray and keeper David Stockdale were also given the nod for the Championship Team of the Year alongside Knockaert and Dunk, and the promotion winning side were well represented in the end of season awards.
One player who has consistently performed for the south coast side this season but hasn’t received as many plaudits as his colleagues, is midfielder Dale Stephens.
The former Charlton man quietly goes about his business in the middle of the park, and his performances have seen him linked with a move to the Premier League for some time.
The £4.25m-rated man is yet to agree a deal to stay with the Seagulls beyond the end of the current campaign, and it appears Stephens may not line up for Brighton in the Premier League next season.
A move back to Lancashire may be on the cards. Burnley have been strongly linked with the player all season, and manager Sean Dyche had multiple bids turned down last year.
The Burnley boss may finally get his man in June.
Stephens, who will be 28 in June, would add quality and depth to the middle of Burnley’s midfield.
The ageing Joey Barton has impressed at times this season, but with breaking reports that the former Newcastle midfielder is set to be banned from football for 18 months for offences against the FA’s betting rules, Stephens would be an able replacement for the disgraced midfielder.
A deal may be dependent on Burnley’s Premier League survival.
The Clarets are in a strong position to retain their place in the top flight, but nothing is guaranteed.
Stephens will surely be eager to try his hand in the big time, and Burnley may lose the race for the player’s signature should they face the drop.
Dyche has chased Stephens for a long time now, and it is very likely the Burnley boss will move for the player when his contract expires in several months time.
Stephens would be an excellent addition to the midfield at Turf Moor.