Brighton boss Graham Potter reveals a surprising new role for Alireza Jahanbakhsh

Alireza Jahanbakhsh could compete with Martin Montoya for the right wing back role (getty)
Alireza Jahanbakhsh could compete with Martin Montoya for the right wing back role (getty)

Head coach Graham Potter insists £17m forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh is in his future plans - but he may have to adapt to a different position.

Iran international Jahanbakhsh, 26, was Brighton’s record signing when he joined from Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar last summer.

He failed to score in the Premier League last season and Jahanbakhsh has not featured in Potter’s first two match-day squads at Watford or against West Ham.

Potter, however, is convinced the attacker can still prosper at the Amex this season - albeit in an unfamiliar role of right wing back. Martin Montoya has started the season well in that position and seems a natural fit but the head coach feels it’s also a spot that could suit Jahanbakhsh, too.

“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.”

Potter expects Jahanbakhsh stay, despite the fact that the European transfer window remains open. “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 but believes his former club Southampton, who are without a point so far this campaign, will provide a stern test on their visit to the Amex. Potter experienced Premier League action with Southampton as a player during the 1996-97 season.

The highlight of his time at The Dell was a 6-3 triumph against a Manchester United side containing the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona in October 1996.

“(It is) a nice club, I was there quite briefly. 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.”