West Ham are hoping to sign FC Basel striker Albian Ajeti, according to ExWHUEmployee.
However, there could be a struggle to get the deal completed, as the Hammers are hoping to initially sign him on loan with a view to buy, while the Swiss outfit aren’t keen on that structure, as also reported by the West Ham insider.
West Ham have already broken their record transfer fee to sign Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sebastien Haller this summer, though they could still use another forward having let Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez leave permanently, while Jordan Hugill has also gone out on loan.
Ajeti had an impressive return last season, playing 43 games in all competitions, in which he scored 21 goals and assisted 11 times, as per Transfermarkt – this includes a goal against PAOK and Vitesse Arnhem in European competition, as well as the opener in a Swiss Cup final victory.
He has also added to that this campaign already with a goal against PSV Eindhoven, as well as a goal and two assists during Basel’s league opener.
The man he would be competing most closely with at West Ham is Javier Hernandez, as the pair would surely be behind Haller in the pecking order considering how much money the Frenchman cost.
In comparison to Ajeti, Hernandez played 28 games for the Hammers last season, scoring eight goals and assisting three times. Indeed, according to a report put together by Football Talent Scout, the player excels on the counter and likes to try and beat the offside trap, which could see him fit in well for the Hammers.
With Haller having won 6.9 aerial duels on average for Eintracht Frankfurt last season (WhoScored), perhaps Ajeti could be a good foil in terms of capitalising on any knock-downs if Manuel Pellegrini was to deploy a two-man frontline. Furthermore, with the likes of Felipe Anderson and Robert Snodgrass registering 1.8 key passes per game – as well as the fact that central midfielders Mark Noble and Declan Rice averaged 2.9 and 4.4 long balls over the same period – the kind of pace talked about in the scout report may suit him well as a central striker.
If West Ham were able to complete this deal it would be low risk and could see the club sign another prolific striker who could either act as a partner for their marquee addition or provide cover, while fitting in with those providing the service.
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