This move has been rumored for a while, but it has finally been confirmed by the club that David Stockdale is joining Brighton & Hove Albion for an undisclosed fee (thought to be around £1M).
Stockdale had a decent season this year, and has proved he can play in the Championship. But it's quite likely that neither the club or Felix Magath rate him very highly. He's been given ample opportunity to win the number one job, and has never really done it. Only stepping in when Maarten Stekelenburg was injured and/or awful. At nearly 29, he's no longer a young player and is probably not going to improve a great deal. If the club doesn't feel he could be part of the future getting a fee for him now is probably not the worst thing.
Good business aside, this is a hard move for me to swallow. I thought Stockdale was always classy with fans and really seemed to care. That was something that was lacking from our players last year. It's always hard to say goodbye to a player like that even if the move is the right one.
This does leave the squad quite thin at goalkeeper. Assuming that Stekelenburg leaves (and I think we have to assume that), the number two and three keepers would be Marcus Bettinelli and Jesse Joronen. Is either ready to step up? They are both highly rated and have the talent to do so, but it's asking a lot for players so young, twenty two and twenty one respectively. If I were a gambling man (and to a certain extent I am), I'd figure that a senior goalkeeper is brought in shortly. If not, the club must be supremely confident with what they have going forward.
As an aside, this does make Alex Kacaniklic the senior player on the team, having joined from Liverpool in 2010. There could be more changes to come soon as well. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.