Date: 6th September 2016 at 11:53am
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Dale Stephens remained a Brighton player despite the Premier League interest shown, most strongly from Burnley reportedly.

A transfer request was put in the hope of him getting his topflight chance but Brighton turned this down and he remained with Albion beyond the transfer deadline with him now set to ‘honour his contract’ at the Amex Stadium.

Stephens took to Twitter once the deadline had passed to explain his decision to request a transfer with him openly admitting his disappointment at not being given the chance to play in the Premier League as he’s not sure he’ll get too many, if any, chances again now that he’s 27.

His actions were simply to have that chance, not because he wanted to leave Brighton.

‘The club have been aware for five weeks I wanted to leave to fulfil my ambition of playing in the Premier League. I’m 27 and recognised this could by my final opportunity to do so, which is why I feel disappointed my chance was taken away. I prefer to give you honesty rather than shy away from my actions now the window is closed.’

The reasoning behind Stephens’ actions do make sense and personally I don’t begrudge him. That has been and gone now though hasn’t it, he’ll honour his contract and we move on.

With him a first-team regular last season, missing just the one Championship match but this season he’s only managed two-matches with his mind perhaps being elsewhere perhaps why Chris Hughton hasn’t used the midfielder that much.

Brighton have taken a risk in turning down offers, the highest was reportedly said to be up to £8m, but he could be worth more to Albion by staying and now it’s down to him to fight his way back in and make Hughton unable to leave him out.

Then he can look to help us into the Premier League and get his chance at that level, but if he signs a new deal (with his existing one expiring next summer) remains to be seen.

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