Brighton’s frustrated £17m star may be close to January exit

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Brighton & Hove Independent – BRIGHTON, Alireza Jahanbakhsh could be the next high-profile player to leave Brighton following the recent departures of Bernardo to RB Salzburg and Maty Ryan’s surprise switch to Arsenal.

Jahanbakhsh has struggled for game time this season under Graham Potter and the 27-year-old was quoted recently as saying he is at a point in his career he has to “play a lot more and have better conditions.”

The Iranian international signed from AZ Alkmaar in 2018 for a then club-record fee of £17m but has since endured a frustrating time in the Premier League on the south coast.

He made 24 appearances under Chris Hughton, without scoring or claiming an assist and the arrival of Potter from Swansea in 2019 saw little change in Jahanbakhsh’s fortunes.

There have been glimpses of his potential, including a spectacular overhead kick against Chelsea last season, but a sustained run in the team remained elusive.

Jahanbakhsh said he had ‘good offers’ to move on last summer but was made promises by the club that he would get more opportunities this campaign.

He started well in the Carabao Cup matches, scoring against Portsmouth and Preston, but niggling injuries once again hindered his progress.

He has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season and last featured for Brighton at Newport in the FA Cup, where he sustained another ‘minor injury.’

Ryan and Bernardo have been allowed to leave on loan this window and all the signs indicate Jahanbakhsh could be next, with a return to Holland a strong possibility.

“There are offers for me in every window,” he said earlier this month. “But I have a contract with the Brighton club and everything must be done with their knowledge and with their opinion.”

Brighton remain keen to reduce squad numbers and wages this January.

“You can never know,” said Potter when asked if more players will leave this January. “You have to adapt until the end of the transfer window.

“You have always got to be mindful that players might be in a stage of their career where they want to play more for themselves, it might be better for the club that they play regularly somewhere else.

“There are always things in January that you have to consider but be open to anything and be ready to adapt if you need to.”

Jakub Moder, Percy Tau and Michał Karbownik have all been recalled from their loans this month. The arrival of South African striker Tau in-particular could well pave the way for Jahanbakhsh’s exit.


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