Brighton and Hove Albion fans were shocked last night when news emerged that David Stockdale had joined Birmingham City.
David Stockdale was out of contract at the AMEX but Brighton were fully expecting him to pledge his future to the South Coast outfit considering that they had just won promotion to the Premier League and after he was named as the EFL Goalkeeper of the Season.
A new contract offer was on the table for the 31-year-old but there were doubts surrounding his other offers.
Stockdale is a boyhood Leeds United fans and the Whites were reportedly interested; West Ham were interested and could have offered him higher wages and a chance to join an established Premier League side; Chelsea had also registered an interest and he could get even higher wages and a big chance of silverware and Champions League football.
So it came as a surprise when he opted to join Birmingham City, who have just narrowly avoided relegation to League One.
Either way, Brighton need to sign a goalkeeper now as their back-up options are sub-standard in the Premier League.
One man who should be on Chris Hughton’s summer wishlist is Queens Park Rangers stopper Alex Smithies.
Smithies was the standout performer for QPR in a dire season, which could have ended in relegation if not for the former England under-19 man.
The 27-year-old is entering the prime of his career and would be a long-term investment by Brighton.
He already has well over 300 senior games under his belt for Huddersfield Town and QPR and many that follow his progress will tell you that he is ready to step up to the Premier League.
QPR fans – can you keep Smithies this summer if a Premier League club comes calling?