We will always have the goal against Chelsea to remember.

In fact, every time Alireza Jahanbakhsh has scored for Albion they have always been very well scored.

It just didn’t happen often enough. Four times in all, including two against lower division opponents in the Carabao Cup.

Only two Premier League goals, days apart as 2019 turned into 2020.

And that’s, in the end, a big reason why it makes sense for Albion and the Iran international to go their separate ways.

ALIREZA JAHANBAKHSH SIGNS FOR FEYENOORD

They tried.

Certainly from Jahanbakhsh, that he never really did, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

The most positive legacy he will leave for Albion fans is that of a professional with an attitude and a commitment to trying to make things happen.

There was also patience but we expected it already.

Even when he signed three years ago next week, he admitted that he had not been an overnight success in the Netherlands.

That he had to wait for the good times there too.

Five goals in his season at NEC, 12 in his second.

Three goals in his first season at AZ, ten in his second, then a league-leading 21 in his third.

So he was ready to give her some time.

Keep in mind that he may have signed for Albion in 2015, but instead decided to stay in the Netherlands, going to AZ rather than what would have been the Championship at the time.

Jahanbakhsh was thinking about this steady progress in Eredivisie when he spoke to The Argus after a game at the end of the 2018-19 season.

He expressed regret over the lack of goals or assists at this point.

Halfway through the next campaign, it was suggested he would be loaned out.

At this point he had been tried, unsuccessfully, as a right-back.

It was a move that made sense but didn’t quite work out, even in the low-key setting of a League Cup game at Bristol Rovers.

And he had also played, at his own request, for the Under-23s, elegantly scoring a goal for Bojan Radulovic before fading in a 3-1 loss to West Ham at Crawley.

But he remained determined to keep trying everything he could with Albion.

Ahead of the mid-season transfer window, there was talk of a loan transfer.

But he wanted to put this idea to bed.

He told The Argus: “Every player wants to play. There is no doubt about it.

“But I’m happy here, to be honest, with the environment and the way the team is playing.

“I’ve been here for a year and a half, but I haven’t shown what I’m really capable of and that disappoints me a bit. ”

When asked if he would look to leave in January, he replied, “I haven’t thought about it but I’m going to work hard to have my chance, my position.

“I’ll work hard to get more minutes.”

It’s easy to forget now how much excitement there was when Jahanbakhsh first signed.

Albion had just survived his first Premier League season and was ready to go.

News of his arrival came early, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Even simple signings can take longer than expected to get to the point where all the administrative and media work has been done and the player’s arrival can be officially announced.

It was a long weekend as supporters waited for confirmation.

What you often find is that things go bafflingly right before the deal is made – and that’s what happened here.

Some fans managed to follow the flight bringing Jahanbakhsh to Biggin Hill.

So much excitement. And that was indeed a big deal for Albion – or maybe not?

Fees of £ 17million broke a record for the club.

But that was a relatively small amount for a Premier League scorer.

Albion sought to be inventive and to seek value.

Those 21 goals from the previous season suggested it was worth breaking through.

We now know it wasn’t quite meant to be.

Not really explosive enough to play wide. Not enough presence to play in the middle.

But every now and then dynamic enough to shake things up, like at Sheffield United or when Wolves’ dangerous baling.

There was the emotion of that first goal against Bournemouth.

And of course the very special combination of technique, agility and confidence to get that very first point against Chelsea.

We will always have this memory of the Alireza Jahanbakhsh years.

The frustration for everyone involved will be that there haven’t been many more.



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