Brighton and Hove Albion have completed the signing of Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele on a three-year contract, no fee will be paid to Sunderland with the club keen to get his wages off the books. The Seagulls have signed the former England under-21 international to be back up to regular starter Mat Ryan.
Steele only signed a four-year deal with Sunderland last year when he joined from Blackburn Rovers for £500,000, but his solitary season in between the sticks at the Stadium of Light was an unmitigated disaster.
The 27-year-old looked a poor signing from the off and although he started the season as first choice, he only lasted four games before losing his place to Robbin Ruiter, which in turn started the chopping and changing the goalkeeping position as both Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman desperately tried to get good performances out of Steele, Ruiter and then the on-loan Cardiff ‘keeper Lee Camp.
Steele almost left the club in the January transfer window but his move to Derby County fell through at the last minute. His departure and Camp’s return to parent club Cardiff means Sunderland’s only remaining senior goalkeeper is Ruiter, who is still recovering from a finger injury.