Brendan Rodgers will attempt to secure the signature of Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens, according to The Express. This may offer a route back into first team football for a certain Richie Towell as he regains fitness following a prolonged layoff.
Stephens has been pivotal to Brighton's success this season as Chris Hughton's side sit firmly in second place, five points behind the leaders Newcastle. However, the Englishman is hesitant to sign a new contract with the Seagulls, attracting attention from both Burnley and Celtic in the meantime.
For Dale Stephens, the opportunity to win silverware and play European football at Celtic may outweigh his desire to move to Turf Moor. Either way, it looks increasingly likely that he will bid farewell to the sunny south coast as he ventures north in a bid to further his playing career.
how a premiership club hasn't signed Dale Stephens baffles me😣 #baller
— Damon Thomas (@DamonThomass) November 18, 2016
After scoring the winning goal in Brighton's victory over Leyton Orient in the EFL trophy, Towell spoke about a frustrating period of inactivity preceding the game.
I need to come back slowly, but it was great to be out there playing in a competitive environment again.
To get through 45 minutes with no problems and score a goal, it was obviously a nice feeling.
There’s so much competition for places. I’d like to play a few more games for Rusky’s team [under-23s], because he’s been great to me and hopefully he’ll allow me to play a little more.
Anybody that knows me knows I’m a very competitive person who wears my heart on my sleeve, so I’d play at the drop of a hat.
The medical staff have held me back a small bit, but I’m raring to go and once given an opportunity, I’m confident I’ll take it.
Undeniably, Towell is moving in the right direction and with that confidence he spoke about, we may see him (finally) feature regularly in the first team.
That being said, Towell's capabilities may not be fully utilised if he was to gain a place on the team sheet as Chris Hughton tends to play a 4-4-2 formation. While Towell can play across the midfield, it was further up the pitch where he was most lethal for Dundalk as he scored 25 league goals en route to their second successive title.