Alireza Jahanbakhsh's future at Brighton remains a mystery...Even for Graham Potter
Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter admitted it's possible Alireza Jahanbakhsh could depart during the upcoming January transfer window.
Jahanbakhsh, 26, has not featured in the Premier League this season and has made just one appearance in the Carabao Cup at Bristol Rovers.
The Iranian joined Brighton for £17m from AZ Alkmaar in July 2018. He made 24 appearances under Chris Hughton, without scoring or claiming an assist.
Asked if you could move-on in January, Potter responded: "Yes and no is the answer.
"I can understand why a footballer always wants to play. There will be a time where, if that's the case, we have to make that decision with the player.
"At the same time he is an important member of the group. Things change in football really quickly. I know he could play in the next week or so, that's how things can go.
"Ultimately the club will make that decision as well. It's a bit of a tricky one. You don't want players here that don't want to be here.
"But that is not the case with Ali. He is fully committed. I spent most of my carer not playing and I fully understand how he feels. But that is the challenge of the Premier League."
Potter did stress however that despite the disappointment of not playing, Jahanbakhsh has been a model professional and is a valuable member of the group.
"Ali (jahanbakhsh) is a bit stop-start," Potter added. "He came back a little bit late and then he wasn’t in the group and the team and then he picked up a little injury when he was away with Iran.
"He has got back well and he is part of the group again and he is training really hard. Trains well. It is just there are competition for places.
"He is of course disappointed because everyone wants to play, everyone wants to be involved. He wants to help the team. He is a good lad, Ali.
"I like him a lot. He is professional, he supports the lads. No problem at all around the club. He has been fantastic in that regard.
"Unfortunately it is the nature of the job as well. There is competition and there are players and I have to make these tough calls. He has just got to keep patient and keep working."