26th of July 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Brighton have broken their club transfer record to sign Iranian international Alireza Jahanbakhsh from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. Brighton have paid around 17 million pounds for the winger, while the previous record signing was Jurgen Locadia from PSV for 14 million pounds in January 2018. The 24-year-old international signed a five-year contract with Brighton. Alireza Jahanbakhsh was in the Iran squad at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and he was in the starting eleven for the 1-0 win over Morocco and the 1-1 draw with Portugal, while he came on as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat by Spain.
"We are delighted to welcome Alireza to the club, and we are particularly pleased to get this deal over the line," manager Chris Hughton said. "Ali is a player that we have been aware of and monitored for a few years, and his versatility will increase our attacking options within the squad. He can play in a wide position or central midfield attacking role, and I am now very much looking forward to working with him." It seems that Brighton have been tracking this player for the past three years.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh moved to Europe in 2013, when Dutch side NEC Nijmegen signed him from Iranian outfit Damash Gilan. He helped NEC win the Dutch top-flight title in 2014-2015 by scoring 12 goals in 28 appearances, a performance which earned him the Best Player of the Season award and the move to AZ Alkmaar. He scored 37 goals in 111 appearances in all competitions during his three seasons with AZ Alkmaar and was the Eredivisie top goal scorer last season with 21 goals. Brighton have already signed seven players this summer: Leon Balogun from Mainz, Florin Andone from Deportivo La Coruna, Jason Steele from Sunderland, Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior from RB Leipzig, David Button from Fulham, Yves Bissouma from Lille and Percy Tau from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Brighton finished 15th in the Premier League last season and they are 2/5 at Bet365 to avoid relegation again next season.
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