Leicester or Brighton, Jahanbakhsh’s Next Team

Scoring 21 goals for AZ in the Eredivisie last season, the Iranian became the first Asian to become top scorer in a major European league
Alireza JahanbakhshAlireza Jahanbakhsh

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who performed well for Team Melli during the FIFA World Cup games is linked with a move to either Leicester City FC or Brighton & Hove Albion FC, both in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system.

According to news outlets in Tehran, Leicester boss Claude Puel is eager to bolster his attacking ranks at the King Power Stadium this summer, following the recent exit of his Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez. Jahanbakhsh could be just the man for the job.

The 24-year-old has played for the Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, the highest professional football league in the Netherlands, since 2015. There he played 85 matches and scored 34 goals.

Jahanbakhsh would be a great addition to Puel’s squad, as he was in quite simply sensational form for AZ Alkmaar last season, racking up an incredible 22 goals and 14 assists in 39 appearances for his club.

Scoring 21 goals for AZ in the Eredivisie last season, the Iranian became the first Asian to become top scorer in a major European league.

He can play anywhere along the front-line, and plays with a certain kind of directness that would undoubtedly help fill the void left by Mahrez.

Leicester fans will be desperate to see their club spend the money they received for the Algerian star, and bringing in the Iranian could be just the tonic for the Foxes.

He is available for less than $30 million this summer, and at this age, that represents fantastic value for money.

 Brighton Deal Done?

However, there were a number of interesting developments that took place across social media on Friday that suggested Jahanbakhsh may have completed a move to Brighton.

Brighton has long been linked with the Iranian winger. He toured the Amex, the club stadium, in the summer of 2015 with a deal all but complete, only to change his mind at the last moment and move from the Dutch club NEC Nijmegen, where he had played for two years, to AZ Alkmaar for $1.8m instead.

Jahanbakhsh’s value has soared in the two seasons he spent with AZ. His performance in the Eredivisie last season sparked interest from Napoli, West Ham United and Leicester City among others.

Brighton is also said to be back in for him, although it looked as though $29 million AZ valued him at might prove prohibitive. However, a “good luck at Brighton” message on Instagram by one of Jahanbakhsh’s friends on Friday suggests that Brighton may have sealed the deal.

Social media transfer postings should normally be taken with a pinch of salt. This looks to be different though. Ali Alikhanii wrote on his Instagram feed, “Alireza Jahanbakhsh, wish you success in your new team Brighton”.

Jahanbakhsh’s mate would have nothing to gain by spreading false rumors, and if one is really looking for attention and fame, Instagram is arguably not the best social media platform.

It is possible that the signing has been done but it has not been officially announced by the club.

If Brighton has managed to sign Jahanbakhsh, then it could round off the summer of transfer activity. Goals were what the club lacked last season. With his impressive record in Dutch football, Jahanbakhsh could well solve that problem.

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