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Alireza Jahanbakhsh happy he waited to join Albion

Alireza Jahanbakhsh

Theargus - Record buy Alireza Jahanbakhsh has no regrets about missing out on promotion and Albion’s first season in the Premier League.

The Iran star reckons his £17 million move came at the right time.

Jahanbakhsh joined Albion from Dutch top flight club AZ Alkmaar last summer - three years after the Seagulls first tried to sign him.

He switched to Alkmaar from NEC Nijmegen instead and finished on a high note with 21 goals and 12 assists in 33 games to be named player of the season in the Netherlands.

Jahanbakhsh went back to Alkmaar during the international break to say farewell to his old club.

The winger told The Argus: “It was a goodbye game. It was nice seeing my old team-mates, manager and everyone there. It was a good feeling to be back there again and chatting with friends.

“The impression I got from Brighton has always been really good. When I came here (first) the team was in the Championship at that time and I was just 21.

“At that time I decided to stay in Holland, because I was just getting used to the new competition. I came all the way from Iran to Europe. After two years it was probably a bit early to move somewhere else.

“When I came (to visit Albion), the training complex was quite new, I’d seen the stadium and facilities. It really impressed me.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh

“In the last couple of years I’ve always been talking with friends, if I get the opportunity again to go to Brighton I would go for it.

“Thank God it just happened with the good season I had and Brighton promoted to the Premier League. It was good timing for me to move here.

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“It wasn’t an easy decision. Moving is always difficult, especially from country to country, but I was ready for this move and I am really happy with this decision.”

Jahanbakhsh could make his fourth start in succession against Southampton at the Amex today in a debut campaign interrupted by injury and Asian Cup duty for his country.

He said: “My recent performances are more like me as a player – I don’t hide away, expectation is high, and I know that.

“I came here to do my best for the club – I knew I’d need time to develop, but things have happened which I didn’t expect, but the more I play and get time on the pitch things will continue to get better.

“As a player you can always improve, and for me I want to get back to the shape I have always been.”

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