The Argus – BRIGHTON, Record buy Alireza Jahanbakhsh has been backed to grow into a bigger influence for Albion – just like Jose Izquierdo.
The £17 million summer signing’s run of starts has been ended by a slight hamstring injury, which has sidelined him from tomorrow’s game at Cardiff (12.30).
Anthony Knockaert is likely to be restored to the starting line-up in Jahanbakhsh’s absence but manager Chris Hughton believes his big money winger will improve following his move from Dutch football as the season progresses, much like Izquierdo last season after the Colombian’s switch from Belgium.
Hughton told The Argus: “I think that’s a good comparison.
“With Alireza we knew he would need some adjustment time. He came from a club in Holland (AZ Alkmaar) where he played a different type of role.
“They played mainly 4-3-3 and he played wide on the right, where he is playing for us but in a different formation.
“The Premier League is a more demanding league so the requirements for a player are different. Also, he had more of a license in the team he played in, so I knew it would take some adjustment time.
“But if we didn’t think he was a player who could make that adjustment then we wouldn’t have signed him.
“We’ve signed him to make that adjustment but also to give us goals and the contribution to goals he is so used to.”
Jahanbakhsh’s injury has also ruled him out of international duty for Iran.
Jason Steele will be on the bench again at Cardiff as cover for keeper Mathew Ryan as David Button remains sidelined by what Hughton describes as a “slight knee problem.”
Long-term casualty Pascal Gross is back in training and scheduled to train again on Monday together with fellow ankle injury victim Davy Propper.