The underrated Brighton midfielder who can save Albion millions if Yves Bissouma departs in January

Brighton and Hove Albion have proved they have a squad capable of coping in the Premier League even when their best players are unavailable

Yves Bissouma continues to be linked with a move away from Brighton
Yves Bissouma continues to be linked with a move away from Brighton

Brighton coach Bjorn Hamberg has been impressed with the impact made by midfielder Steven Alzate following his return from an ankle injury.

Alzate, 23, has been a key figure for Albion in recent matches and helped the team to draws against Chelsea and Leicester.

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The Colombia international has added guile and control to the midfield and looks in good shape after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following an ankle injury sustained last September.

Alzate's return to form and fitness has arrived at the ideal time as Yves Bissouma has been at the AFCON, Enock Mwepu is out with a hamstring problem as is the experienced Adam Lallana. Defender and skipper Lewis Dunk has also been missing since December.

It also shows that if Bissouma does depart at some stage, Brighton have a player capable of stepping into that vital role that Bissouma performs so well.

Aston Villa are the latest club to be linked with the Mali international, while Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal are previously said to have expressed an interest in the £40m rated player with 18 months remaining on his contract.

Alzate played a full 90 minutes against Chelsea and then played for an hour at Leicester before he was taken off due to a whack to the ankle.

Hamberg stressed it was nothing serious and it was not on the same ankle that kept the midfielder out previously.

"Really impressed," said the Albion coach following the 1-1 draw at the King Power. "He is a top player and has played for us many times.

"Obviously it is not easy to get into the team regularly and there is great competition in that area.

"Fair play to him and fair play to the medical staff to get him ready from that long of an injury and the performance he has done from these two games.

"He had a whack on his ankle today so we took him off. It is not the same ankle he injured against Palace, so he is fine."

Alzate and Brighton will now rest and recover during the international break and are next back in action in the FA Cup on February 5 at Tottenham.

Albion's next league match is at Watford on February 12.