‘How he’s worked every day has been perfect’: Graham Potter adamant that forgotten man Alireza Jahanbakhsh can still have an impact at Brighton
- Alireza Jahanbakhsh missed out on Brighton’s first two Premier League games
- The £17million Iran international did not record a goal or assist in debut season
- Boss Graham Potter believes one-time record signing can still play a role at club
- Brighton host Potter’s former club Southampton in Premier League on Saturday
Graham Potter insists £17million forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh has a future at Brighton.
Iran international Jahanbakhsh was Albion’s club record signing when he arrived from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar last summer.
But, on the back of a difficult debut campaign which ended without a Premier League goal or assist, the 26-year-old has been left out of Potter’s first two match-day squads this season.
Alireza Jahanbaksh has endured a difficult time since joining Brighton for £17million in 2018
Asked if he thinks Jahanbakhsh can have an impact this term, Seagulls boss Potter replied: ‘Yeah, I do.
‘He’s another one that’s worked really hard, he’s a bit unfortunate not to be in the 18.
‘He’s a player that can be close to the 11 but out of the 18, if that makes sense, because I think he can play in any one of those front positions but also as a wing-back, on the right side, he’s been working with that as well.
‘He’s a bit unlucky, you have to pick 18 and, for the balance of the subs, he’s been the one that’s missed out.
‘But how he’s worked every day has been perfect, does his best and is ready to help the team.’
Seagulls boss Graham Potter still believes Jahanbakhsh has a future at the club this season
While the Premier League transfer window has already closed, clubs across Europe still have the option to strengthen their squads.
Potter, however, does not expect Jahanbakhsh or any other members of his squad to move abroad in the coming weeks.
‘I don’t anticipate that,’ he said.
‘Of course, while it’s open you never know, you can’t tell. But I wouldn’t have thought so.’
Potter has taken four points from his first two games as a Premier League manager after replacing the sacked Chris Hughton in May.
Potter spent the 1996-1997 season with Southampton and made eight league appearances
The 44-year-old briefly experienced top-flight action as a player with Southampton during the 1996-97 campaign.
He faces his former club on Saturday and has fond memories of his time at The Dell, which included a 6-3 demolition of a Manchester United side containing Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona in October 1996.
‘(It is) a nice club, a really good club with good people. A nice part of the world. I was there quite briefly,’ Potter said of Southampton.
‘Obviously the memorable game was the big victory against Manchester United. I was a sub, got on the pitch and didn’t harm the game for us too much. We still went on to win 6-3.
‘Matt Le Tissier was the talisman for the team at the time and a good group of lads, it was the start of the Premier League really that era. It was a great experience for me.
‘They’re a really established Premier League club that is run really well and they provide a stiff opposition for us at the weekend.’