Brighton manager Chris Hughton has revealed his delight at adding Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan to his squad, saying the 25-year-old would be an “excellent” signing.
Ryan, who is currently on international duty with Australia at the Confederations Cup, is due to join Valencia on 1 July having signed a five-year deal.
The 25-year-old’s acquisition comes with an undisclosed fee but is a club-record transfer payment.
Hughton said Ryan’s international experience with Australia, of which he has 32 caps as well as World Cup experience, would be valuable to his newly promoted team.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract Mathew to the club, and he will certainly be an excellent addition to the squad in time for our first season in the Premier League,” Hughton said.
“For somebody of Mathew’s age, he has very good experience, having played in the top divisions in Australia, Belgium and Spain. He has also competed in European competition and made a number of appearances at international level.
“We’re very much looking forward to working with him for the season ahead.”
Ryan will now exit Valencia, who he joined in 2015.
The relationship soured somewhat after Ryan was demoted to the club’s third choice goalkeeper, forcing the gloveman to go out of loan with Racing Genk in the latter half of the 2016-17 season.
“Now that is has become official, firstly I would like to thank Valencia CF for giving me the opportunity to represent a club with such a rich history and to have enabled me to achieve a dream of playing in the La Liga,” Ryan wrote on Instagram.
“I want to thank my teammates, coaching staff, behind the scenes staff and the fans for their continued support in my time at the club and for the experiences we have had together.
“I hope the club in the near future can return to being the grand club from the past with a lot of the success in the near future and beyond.
“To finish I would like to thank my friends I have met in my time there, I had the pleasure of getting to know many people who will remain friends for life and I hope that we can see each other again in the future.
“All the best.”
Brighton’s first match in the Premier League will be played against Manchester City at the Amex Stadium.