Date: 6th July 2015 at 6:13pm
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Brighton and Hove Albion have this evening confirmed the arrival of Finland international goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa.

The 30 year old stopper had long been linked with us this summer, along with a few other Championship sides, but tonight he has joined us on a free transfer following his release by Dutch club VVV-Venlo at the end of last season.

He earlier completed the formalities of the deal, and passed his medical.

He stays in Sussex this week to begin pre season training at the training ground and then he will link up with the first team early next week when they return from the Geneva training camp.

Speaking to the Official Site as the capture was announced, manager Chris Hughton said he was delighted to finally get the deal done.

‘We are pleased to welcome Niki to the club. It’s no secret that I wanted another goalkeeper, alongside David Stockdale and Casper Ankergren, who will compete hard for that solitary first-team slot. Like all our other recruits this summer, Niki’s got plenty of top-flight experience, including games at international level. Having already played in France and Holland, he is now keen to prove himself in English football.’

Having began his career with French team RC Lens back in 2003, having played for their reserve side he made the move to Dutch second division team FC Den Bosch in 2006 where he made 67 appearances across three years. After two years in the Eredivisie with Willem II saw him make the move to AZ Alkmaar in 2011, switching to his last club a year later.

Three years with VVV-Venlo – one in the top flight, two years in their second division – saw him win their Player of the Season award, as well as helping them to fifth in the table in 2013-14.

He is the current number 1 choice for Finland, and has 24 caps to his name plus a further 13 at U21 level, and five at U19 level.

With Maenpaa now secured, plans to send out youngster Christian Walton for a loan spell to aide his development will now hopefully be speeded up and concluded so he can more get himself going as well this year.

‘Niki’s arrival allows us to loan out Christian Walton for regular first-team action, which is a vital next step in his development. We know from last season that Christian is very capable, but he now needs more games. Christian needs to play regular senior football to get to the stage where he can realistically challenge for the goalkeeper’s position in our first-team. I have no doubt he will do that here in the not too distant future.’

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