Sunderland had a lot of problems last season but the lack of a reliable goalkeeper was right up there at the top. The Black Cats suffered a second successive relegation in May and the club’s decline was rather summed up by the struggles of those between the sticks.
Jason Steele started just 15 Championship games in 2017/18 and looked completely out of his depth on occasions, failing to command his area and making countless crucial mistakes.
In fact, Steele’s Sunderland career can probably be summed up by that 1-0 defeat at QPR in March, during which he was sent off for misjudging a bouncing ball and handling it outside his area.
So no wonder Sunderland fans were taken aback when Brighton and Hove Albion made the decision to bring Steele to the Premier League in July. ‘How is that even possible?’ was one such response on Twitter that rather summed up the mood.
But it has quickly become apparent that Steele was not going to The Amex to be Brighton’s number one – or even their number two.
The former Blackburn and Middlesbrough stopper has not been included in a single one of Brighton’s Premier League squads so far in 2018/19 with Matt Ryan and Jason Button ahead of him in the pecking order.
Steele has played more games for the reserves than he has for the first-team. So Sunderland fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Seeing Steele star in the Premier League would have just rubbed salt into the wounds.
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