Brighton manage Graham Potter has given a measured update on the fitness of Steven Alzate, who is unlikely to start regularly when the Premier League returns.
As per The Argus, the midfielder had been due to undergo a minor groin operation when the season was halted in March, only for that plan to be put on hold after he showed symptoms of coronavirus and was further delayed due to the priorities of medical services lying elsewhere.
The Colombian is fit to feature against Arsenal on Saturday but Potter has told the Seagulls faithful not to expect him to be a fixed presence in the team sheet.
The 45-year-old told The Argus: “He is looking okay. We are having to manage him a little bit – just his load and manage him through this bit.
“He is probably not going to be able to play Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday or whatever it is. But we have to just take that into consideration and make sure he is able to play the time that he can and feel good but he is looking okay.”
In what has been a breakthrough season for Alzate at the Amex Stadium, he has featured in 19 Premier League games so far, starting 12. Having enjoyed a run of starts upon his introduction to the side in the autumn, he hasn’t featured from the kick-off since the defeat at Bournemouth in January. [via TransferMarkt]
The 21-year-old has been a wonderfully versatile option for Brighton, playing in no fewer than seven positions already this term, with his diversity of roles stretching from the right-back position he has occupied more times than any other to a brief substitute outing at centre-forward. [via TransferMarkt]
That versatility, along with some decent yet unspectacular attributes, mark Alzate out as something of a Jack-of-all-trades, although there is one area where the Colombian stands out – his average of 1.8 successful dribbles per game is the highest of anyone in the Seagulls’ squad (as per WhoScored).
Alzate has been a frequent yet not constant presence in Potter’s first XI this season and that looks set to be the case for the remainder of the campaign, with the manager clearly taking the approach of bedding him in mildly during his first year at Premier League level.
Would Alzate be a big loss from Brighton whenever he's unavailable?
Even if the 21-year-old isn’t in a position to start every game until the end of 2019/20, the variety of positions to which he can adapt should make him an excellent option to have on the bench.
Brighton fans, have you been impressed with Alzate this season? Comment below with your views!
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