The silly season is in full swing.
After the news that Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale rejected a new contract at the south coast club, tongues started wagging as to where the in-demand keeper was going to be headed. With his performance last year for the Seagulls in mind, a number of Premier League teams, including Chelsea and, unthinkably for Brighton fans, Crystal Palace, have been linked with the in-form Leeds born keeper.
Stockdale appeared in 45 games in the Championship for Brighton, allowing only 40 goals and registering 20 clean sheets on the season. The 31 year-old Stockdale was named to the EFL’s “Championship team of the season” for his efforts in goal. Losing him would be a huge blow to the club, with newly promoted teams needing to prevent goals more than they need goal scoring to survive in the Premier League.
Family first— David Stockdale (@stockogk1313) May 19, 2017
Once the rumors started that Stockdale would not be resigning, massive speculation started appearing that he could be headed back home to Yorkshire and Leeds United. So when Stockdale tweeted Friday about “Family First”, it set off a twitter firestorm.
Brighton fans reacted with the kind of cool, rational response you’d expect from football fans anywhere. They freaked out, of course, accusing the keeper of greed, and Leeds fans saw the tweet as confirmation that Stockdale would be headed north to Elland Road.
While goalkeeper isn’t necessarily a “need” for Leeds this off-season, with former England international Rob Green currently between the pipes for United, but with Stockdale having family links to Leeds and reportedly available, it only makes sense for fans to hope that United would be able to land a keeper of his quality on a free transfer. Green had a good season for the Whites, allowing 47 goals in 46 starts, with 15 clean sheets, but he’s not getting any younger. At 37 years of age, Green’s time as a starting keeper at a Championship club is drawing to a close and a keeper like Stockdale would be a fantastic addition to the team.