Potter impressed by Alzate's development

Graham Potter has picked out midfielder Steven Alzate after he was asked to name a standout player by Albion supporters.

By Bruce Talbot • 21 April 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion midfielder Steven Alzate.

Nearly 100 supporters quizzed the head coach and technical director Dan Ashworth during an online forum involving members of Albion supporters groups from the UK and across the world.

Potter said, “He first made a really positive impression in pre-season. Some of our internationals were away and we didn’t have the full squad initially, so we promoted some of the under-23s and were able to look at them closely. It went from there for Steven.

“He’s dedicated and focused but his main attribute on the pitch is that he is incredibly comfortable with the ball. He can take an extra touch under pressure and he hasn’t been fazed by the Premier League. His technical ability is really good.

“He’s got courage and good athleticism. It’s difficult to manage the load of a player coming in from the under-23s who, in his case, had a loan spell in League Two last season [at Swindon Town] which was cut short by injury.

“He probably hasn’t played the amount of games either he or us would like and he’s having to deal with a few things physically, but I think we’re going to see a lot of him in the first team over the next few years. He’s a great lad with a lot of ability and a big future.”

Ashworth only saw Alzate play for the first time in the final under-23 game of last season against Everton, describing the Colombian international as a late developer.

By Paul Hazlewood
Dan Burn's consistency has caught the eye of head coach Graham Potter.

“He came on for the last 15 minutes at Everton and I thought he had something," said Ashworth. "He’s 21 and a late developer but his determination and professionalism and his ability to handle the ball under intense pressure against some of the world's best players in the Premier League has been really good."

Potter also praised defender Dan Burn who, apart from a spell out with a dislocated shoulder in January, has been ever present this season.

“All the players have made a good impression and I don’t like to single players out but Dan didn’t play much last year, was on loan in the Championship, and he’s been an ever present," added Potter.

“We have been impressed with his commitment, his desire to improve and make the most of what he has. He’s been a pleasure to work with and is a good reference point for the rest of the squad. He is the one player who has probably surprised me the most.”