Wearebrighton - There were a number of interesting developments that took place across social media on Friday evening that suggest that Alireza Jahanbakhsh may have completed a move to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Albion have long been linked with the Iranian winger. He toured the Amex in the summer of 2015 with a deal all but complete, only to change his mind at the 11th hour and move from NEC Nijmegen to AZ Alkmaar for £1.4m instead.
Jahanbakhsh’s value has soared in his two seasons at AZ. He hit 21 goals and notched 12 assists in the Eredivisie last season, sparking interest from Napoli, West Ham United and Leicester City among others.
Brighton are also said to be back in for him, although it looked as though £22m AZ valued him at might prove prohibitive. Have the Albion managed to strike a deal with the Dutch club though? Here’s what has happened to suggest that they possibly have.
One of Jahanbakhsh’s mates posted a good luck at Brighton message on Instagram
Social media transfer postings should normally be taken with a pinch of salt. This looks to be different though. The Instagram of Ali Alikhanii is littered with posts of him and Jahanbakhsh in various social scenarios, suggesting they are friends.
It was on this profile that the message منزل #عليرضا_جهانبخش على جان آرزوى موفقعيت در تيم جديدت(برايتون انگليس) appeared. Thanks to Google translate, we know what it means. “Ali wishes to succeed on new team (British Brighton)”. Jahanbakhsh’s mate would have nothing to gain by spreading false rumours, and if you were looking for attention or publicity then Instagram is arguably the worst social media platform to lose. You should be using Twitter, Ali Alikhanii. And the #BHAFC hashtag.
Seems compelling enough, doesn’t it?
Paul Winstanley liked a Tweet praising the signing
Exhibit B regarding Jahanbakhsh’s arrival at the Albion comes from Twitter. One Brighton fan – @tomhebbo – posted the following Tweet
Albion’s Head of Recruitment, Paul Winstanley, happened to be one of the likers of the Tweet. Now, it could be that he had a few pinot grigio after pulling off two signings this week and was patting himself on the back. In which case, we can dismiss this piece of evidence.
Alternatively, he could be liking the fact that Jahanbakhsh’s signing has already been completed. Intriguingly, Winstanley has since unliked the Tweet. Which suggests that he might have realised he has given the game away regarding the signing before it has been officially announced.
Is Jahanbakhsh a Brighton player then?
There doesn’t seem to be any reason why one of Jahanbakhsh’s close friends would make up a transfer for the sake of a few likes on Instagram. The Winstanley evidence is less clear cut – he could well be liking the praise for the recruitment work done. But the tweet mentions Jahanbakhsh straight off the bat, and you’d have to be an idiot not to realise what liking it would imply. Winstanley is clearly not an idiot – he isn’t the bloke who signed Chris O’Grady to replace Leonardo Ulloa, after all.
If Brighton have managed to sign Jahanbakhsh, then it could round off quite the summer of transfer activity. Goals were what we were lacking last season, particularly from wide areas with Chris Hughton over reliant on Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross scoring.
With his impressive record in Dutch football, Jahanbakhsh could address that problem. Fingers crossed that the deal is signed, sealed and delivered this time and not another false dawn like in 2015.