Kyle McFadzean has urged former central defensive partner Joe Walsh to continue his footballing education at Crawley.
McFadzean completed a £150,000 move to Crawley’s League One rivals MK Dons yesterday. The 27-year-old had turned down a £500,000 switch to Brentford in January but admitted it was the right time for him to move on both professionally and personally.
The former Sheffield United trainee’s departure will increase speculation that Wales Under-21 inter-national Walsh, who also turned down a move in January, will follow him out of the door at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
But McFadzean, who built a close relationship with Walsh both on and off the pitch over the last two years, believes the former Swansea defender would be better staying at Crawley for another season.
McFadzean said: “It was a hard decision to leave Crawley because I’ve had such good times at the club but I just felt I needed a new challenge.
“Sometimes the time just feels right to move on and I think I am that stage of my career where I needed to have a change. I could have left loads of times before but this time it never felt quite the right time or the right club.
“I’m sure there will be offers for Joe this summer but I think it might be better for his development if he stayed at Crawley for another season as he has got more time on his side than me.
“I know he could have gone back to Swansea but they would have just put him in their under-21 team and if Joe is going to leave then he needs to make sure it is somewhere he is going to play regularly.”
McFadzean was also subject of a £500,000 bid from Bristol City in January 2013 but with only 12 months left on his contract Crawley had to settle for less than a third of that.
Reds will also have to pay McFadzean’s former club Alfreton Town £10,000 due to a sell-on clause when he signed for £75,000 plus £25,000 in add-ons in August 2010.
Chief executive Michael Dunford said: “It’s disappointing to lose Kyle, but he was out of contract in 12 months and it is likely he would have moved north then without the club receiving any form of compensation.
“He’s been a superb servant to this football club and we wish him all the best but we move on and the search for fresh additions to the squad continues.
“All the money from the sale of Kyle will be ploughed back into player wages and transfer fees to further strengthen the squad.”