Brighton boss Graham Potter admits Dale Stephens will be missed after his move to Burnley
The Bolton-born midfielder has been with the Seagulls for six years, after signing from Charlton, and could have joined the Clarets in 2016, only for Albion to turn down six offers from Burnley, and a transfer request from the player.
Stephens captained Brighton in their Carabao Cup win over Portsmouth last Thursday, but had yet to make a Premier League appearance this season, and Potter said: “Well firstly he has been a fantastic servant for this club.
“I think in the modern day to have that period of time at a club says a lot about him, promotion, stabilizing in the Premier League, he has been wonderful for the club.
“He should be proud and I’m sure he is proud of what he has achieved with us.
“On a personal note, the last year that I have worked with him, he has been a joy to work with, professional, hard-working, honest and I have really enjoyed working with him.
”It just got to the stage like always sometimes in football, that you make a decision and I think the opportunity to get maybe a longer term deal for Dale was good for him and probably at the right time for the club.
“I think when a player is coming to that age and has that opportunity it is hard to stand in their way. It was a good opportunity for him, we wish him well, he is welcome back here anytime as he is a top guy.
“But we have got some younger players, some players in the team at the moment and a couple coming through, so we will look at the situation.
“There is no plans to bring anybody in to replace, but he will certainly be missed.”