Albion chairman Tony Bloom has accused former boss Gus Poyet of not playing Craig Mackail-Smith to his strengths when the club bought him.
Mackail-Smith has struggled to make an impact since the Seagulls signed him for a club record £2.5 million fee from Peterborough four summers ago.
He formed a prolific strike partnership with Aaron Mclean for Posh but has not recaptured those goalscoring heights with Albion playing in a different system and also had 13 months out with Achilles and ankle injuries.
Bloom believes Poyet, sacked by Albion for gross misconduct and axed recently by Premier League strugglers Sunderland, was at fault initially for misleading him and Mackail-Smith.
Bloom told The Argus: "Craig was the top scorer in League One when he came to us. The manager at the time assured myself and the player that he would play a certain way to play to his strengths and then he never did.
"So it's unfortunate. It made it a lot more difficult for Craig. He has been really unfortunate with the injury and the recovery from that injury. When you are out for that long it is tough to recover."
Fans fear history could repeat itself with Sam Baldock, bought last summer for more than £1.5 million from Bristol City after top scoring in League One playing in a pair and now sidelined for the rest of the season by knee damage.
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"That's where he was used. He didn't play that much because he had two decent spells out with injury.
"With the new manager (Chris Hughton) playing a different system, a more regular system, generally a 4-3-3 or something like that, then he (Baldock) is more suited in that formation to play out wide.
"That is one of the issues sometimes when you have a change of manager, particularly with Sami who played a particular style.
"When managers change then formations and styles can change and players have to fit into a new manager's system.
"Sam, to be fair to him, has done that exceptionally well. I think he would prefer to play up top with a two, perhaps with a big man, but he has done really well on that left of a 4-3-3."