On deadline day, West Ham signed Albian Ajeti from FC Basel for a fee of around £8m (as per BBC Sport). The 22-year-old striker was West Ham’s final purchase of the summer and he will compete with Sebastian Haller and Javier Hernandez up front.
Although Ajeti is not a household name like Haller or Pablo Fornals, West Ham fans will be hoping he proves to be a good signing. The Switzerland international has signed a long-term deal at The London Stadium and here are five facts about the new striker.
Tried a German adventure
When Ajeti was younger, he left Basel to join FC Augsburg. This was back in 2016 when he was still a teenager. Despite signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with Augsburg, he returned to Basel less than two years later.
During his time in Germany, he played just one Bundesliga match but scored twice in six games for Augsburg’s reserve side. He was also sent out on loan to Swiss side St Gallen during this period.
With the exception of his spell in Germany (where he did not get much game time), Ajeti has scored goals wherever he has gone. His record of 43 goals in 96 games for Basel is proof of this.
Ajeti also scored 14 goals in 38 games for St Gallen. Before joining West Ham, Ajeti netted twice in three matches this season, including a goal in the Champions League.
Rated by ex-Hammer
Former West Ham defender Fabio Daprela believes Ajeti will be a hit in East London. Daprela played a handful of games for West Ham when he was younger but has tipped his fellow countryman for success in the Premier League.
“The fans will love him,” Daprela told Swiss media outlet Blick. “Because he is a type of player who does not avoid a duel that tears himself apart for the jersey that lives off his physique.”
Fast start to international career
It took Ajeti just six minutes to make his mark in international football. Having come through the ranks for Switzerland’s youth sides, he was courted by Albania before deciding to represent the country of his birth.
On his debut – against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League last September – Ajeti replaced Breel Embolo and scored six minutes later. He has not scored his second Swiss goal yet, though.
Ajeti’s two brothers are also professional footballers. Adonis Ajeti is Albian’s twin brother and he plays as a defender for St Gallen. He was previously at Basel alongside his twin brother.
Albian and Adonis have an older brother called Arlind Ajeti. The 25-year-old plays for Grasshoppers and the Albanian national team. He is a centre-back who has previously played in Italy.