Thursday, December 8, 2022

West Ham United Forward Generating Interest From Turkey: Should The Hammers Part Ways With Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by the Turkish news outlet Takvim (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), West Ham United striker Albian Ajeti is on the radar of Galatasaray after Fatih Terim has identified the player as his preferred choice this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Turkish giants are planning to sign the Hammers forward during the summer transfer window and then loan him out for the upcoming campaign. However, it is understood that Ajeti is not their only target as they are also keeping a close eye on Fedor Smolov and Munas Dabbur ahead of the new season (via Takvim).

Ajeti’s Underwhelming Debut Season At The English Capital 

The Swiss attacker has endured a challenging debut season in the Premier League after failing to establish himself as a regular member of David Moyes’ first-team. He has featured in 14 matches for the East London outfit this term, netting two goals and grabbing two assists in all competitions which is a decent return for a player who has only received 665 minutes of game time so far.

Ajeti has often found himself behind Sebastien Haller in the London Stadium pecking order after averaging 0.3 shots and 0.3 key passes per game in the eight league appearances he has made as a substitute this season (stats via whoscored). His stats do not make good reading, so maybe, West Ham should consider cutting their losses by shipping him out of the club just a year after he had arrived from FC Basel for £8m.

Despite all of his shortcomings during this campaign, the 23-year-old deserves credit for representing Switzerland at various youth levels. He has also managed to secure ten senior caps for his country while netting one goal in the process. There is no denying that Ajeti has the potential to play a crucial role for his nation in the years to come as long as he works hard to develop himself on the training ground.

Albian Ajeti of West Ham United reacts during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at The London Stadium on January 25, 2020, in London, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

What Does The Swiss International Bring To The Table?

Ajeti boasts decent pace but has struggled to use it to get the better of his markers this season. However, he is a composed finisher in the final third and tends to be unselfish when setting up his teammates when they are in a more advantageous position in and around the opposition penalty box. The Swiss frontman packs a lot of venom with his shot attempts and is usually quite tidy when linking up with his colleagues in the decisive end of the field. However, he has been guilty of not finding any consistency as far as his performances are concerned as a centre-forward.

Should Moyes Sanction Ajeti’s Departure This Summer?

Ajeti has failed to win over Moyes through his attacking contributions this season which could only mean that the end might be near for him at the London Stadium. He came into the club as an exciting young striker last summer but has not shown anything to justify his stay in the Premier League.

Therefore, the Hammers will be better of cashing in on him this summer so that they can use the money to bring in a suitable replacement capable of challenging Haller for a regular first-team berth at East London. Plus, Ajeti’s potential departure could also free up space for Moyes to promote Xande Silva to assume a more prominent role in the years to come, that is, if he decides to tie up the Portuguese attacker on a new contract as his current one runs out at the end of this campaign.

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