Brighton and Hove Albion’s Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) is the second most-popular goalkeeper in Fantasy Premier League, sitting in over 27% of FPL squads at present.
The Spaniard is owned by more Fantasy managers than the rest of the other £4.5m shot-stoppers combined, so Friday’s news that the Seagulls had sealed the signing of 21-year-old Dutch custodian Kjell Scherpen from Ajax may have been disconcerting to some.
The transfer has actually been on the cards for some time, with media reports in May suggesting talks had already begun.
Scherpen, a Netherlands under-21 international, had made only two league appearances for Ajax in his two years in Amsterdam but had previous senior experience with former club Emmen.
Albion boss Graham Potter said of his new capture:
We’re delighted to welcome Kjell to the club. He’s a player we have been monitoring for a while and we see him as a player with a lot of the right attributes.
As well as his size he is someone we think will work very hard to improve all aspects of his game as he gets used to English football. We look forward to working with him.
What does the new signing mean for Robert Sanchez?
The departure of Mat Ryan (£4.5m) and expected exit of Christian Walton did make it seem likely that Potter would swoop for another goalkeeper in the summer, with Jason Steele (£4.0m) not a serious candidate for promotion to the Albion starting XI.
Thankfully for prospective Sanchez owners, Scherpen may also be a little way from the first team – for now, at least.
The Athletic’s Andy Naylor previously reported that:
Scherpen… will be a back-up goalkeeper for Brighton, as a number 2/3, in-between first choice Robert Sanchez and Jason Steele.
The Athletic understands he is likely to be loaned out to aid his development, a tactic Brighton have used with Sanchez and Christian Walton, who is leaving after eight years at the club.
Maty Ryan, replaced in December in Graham Potter’s side by Sanchez, is also departing after a loan spell at Arsenal as part of the overhaul of the goalkeeping group.
Brighton have forthcoming pre-season friendlies against Rangers on July 24 and Getafe on August 7, with the latter warm-up game in particular likely to tell us more about how Potter is planning to set his troops up in Gameweek 1.
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