Brighton’s Dale Stephens glad to have fulfilled dream to play in the Premier League with the Seagulls

Brighton’s Dale Stephens glad to have fulfilled dream to play in the Premier League with the Seagulls

The Midfielder could have departed for Burnley and moved through the divisions with the Clarets but stayed with the Seagulls and moved up anyway.

Coach
Duncan Spalding

Dale Stephens feels contented that he fulfilled his dream to play in the Premier League with the Seagulls, after previously requesting a transfer to Burnley.

The Clarets were very keen on signing the midfielder and put in several bids back in the 2017 summer transfer window after being promoted back to the Premier League.

This was the period when Brighton missed out on promotion and the ambitious Stephens was very tempted to realize his ambition of playing in the top-flight.

Chairman Bloom declined offers for Stephens

As it transpired, the Seagulls Chairman Tony Bloom declined the offers from Burnley reported to be around £8 million as he and boss Chris Hughton wanted Stephens to play a pivotal role in Brighton and Hove Albion's promotion to the Premier League the following season.

Stephens told The Argus: “That happened over the last couple of years and the ultimate thing was I wanted to go and play in the Premier League.

“I’m happy with how it turned out and I’m happy I’m a Brighton player in the Premier League.

“At the time it all happened I was 27, 28 and you think ‘am I going to get that opportunity again?’."

He continued: "We had a good season the following year and you look back now and it has turned out very well for myself and the team.

“I never felt unappreciated by the club here at all. It was never a case of ever wanting to leave this club."

The midfielder added: “It was trying to fulfil the potential of playing in the Premier League.

“I am very thankful that I managed to do it with Brighton.”

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Repaid faith

The faith shown in Stephens has paid off as he has played a big part this season in his central midfield role and should go on to make his 150th appearance against Burnley on Saturday.

Brighton are hoping for a win on Saturday and if Southampton lose at home to AFC Bournemouth - they will retain their Premier League status for next season.

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