Albion's latest two signings, David Stockdale and Chris O'Grady, were born four months apart in the mid 1980's.

You might think there is nothing particularly significant about that.

But the purchases of the former Fulham goalkeeper and ex-Barnsley striker have not just strengthened the squad, they have also helped address an age imbalance.

Albion have a lot of under 23's, promise in abundance in the shape of Solly March, Jake Forster-Caskey, Christian Walton.

They also have quite a few well over 30's, such as skipper Gordon Greer and his new partner Aaron Hughes, right-back rivals Bruno and Inigo Calderon.

Prior to the captures of Stockdale and O'Grady there was a paucity of players in their mid to late 20's.

Leo Ulloa, Liam Bridcutt, Ashley Barnes, Andrea Orlandi, Will Hoskins, Adam El-Abd and David Rodriguez fall into this age range.

All, for a variety of reasons, have left the club this year.

Does this matter? Age is only a number. Surely it is performances that count?

That is true to a certain extent but I suspect it has been a recruitement consideration for manager Sami Hyypia and his bosses.

Hyypia referred to Stockdale, 28 like O'Grady, being "in his prime".

Goalkeepers tend to mature later and last longer than outfield players but Stockdale and O'Grady should both be at the peak of their powers over the duration of their three-year contracts with the Seagulls.

Youngsters are prone to inconsistency, old stagers have no resale value. Albion could ideally do with one or two more of the in-betweeners.