Albian Ajeti: 5 Things to Know About West Ham’s New Swiss Striker

?West Ham completed their sixth signing of the summer transfer window, signing striker Albian Ajeti from FC Basel.

The Hammers ??signed the 22-year-old Swiss on deadline day, purchasing him for a fee of £8m. He joins a wealth of Swiss players who now play their trade in the Premier League, such as Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabian Schär.

With the Swiss starlet the latest addition to the Premier League, here are five things you need to know about Ajeti.

Ajeti Made His Professional Debut at 17

Albian Aljeti

?Ajeti began playing football from a very young age, and his talent was spotted early on by his hometown club FC Basel. He joined the club in 2005 as a youth player, working his way through the ranks before breaking into the first team in 2014.

After a number of substitute appearances, Ajeti was awarded his professional debut in March 2014 by then-manager Murat Yakin. At 17 years old, the Swiss forward was brought on as a substitute in Basel’s Europa League round of 16 match against Salzburg.

Although the game ended goalless, it proved to be invaluable experience for Ajeti who made his Swiss Super League debut weeks later. He soon scored his first goal in the Swiss top flight, scoring in a 4-2 win over Lausanne-Sport in May 2014.


He Was Basel’s Top Goalscorer in 2 Consecutive Seasons

Ajeti is a proven goalscoring striker, proven in his second senior spell at FC Basel. The 22-year-old scored 21 goals in 43 appearances last season, as the RotBlau finished second in the Swiss Super League and won their 13th Swiss Cup at the end of May.

The season before was just as prolific for Ajeti, as he scored 17 goals in 37 games to win the Swiss Super League golden boot. He is also the joint-leading goalscorer this season, with his two goals tying him with Luca Zuffi and Valentin Stocker.

Ajeti was Basel’s most clinical goalscorer for the last two seasons, and his early scoring suggests he would’ve continued that into this campaign. 


Ajeti Scored Six Minutes Into His Switzerland Debut

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Ajeti made his senior debut for Switzerland in September 2018, after rising through the national youth team setup. Having represented the Schweizer Nati from the Under-15s up to the Under-21s, Vladimir Petkovi? handed him his debut in the Nations League clash with Iceland.

65 minutes into the game at the kybunpark in St. Gallen, Ajeti was brought off the bench for Breel Embolo. Just six minutes later, he slotted home from close range, marking his first ever appearance for Switzerland with his first ever goal for Switzerland in a clinical display.

Since then, Ajeti has become a regular in Petkovi?’s setup, earning seven caps in the Nati’s last ten internationals. While the 22-year-old is not yet the first choice striker with Haris Seferovi? ahead of him, he will certainly be a starter for the Swiss within a few years.


He Could’ve Represented Albania at International Level

Albian Ajeti,Oguzhan Aydogan

While Ajeti was born in Switzerland and represented his birth country at every level, his international career could’ve taken a different path. Ajeti’s family comes from Albania, and if he wanted to he could’ve decided to represent the Eagles.

In 2015, Albania manager Gianna de Biasi contacted Ajeti about playing for the country in their Euro 2016 qualifiers, but to no avail. Albian would not have been the only Ajeti in the squad, with his older brother Arlind Ajeti representing Albania and making 19 caps for them.

However, Ajeti chose to continue to play for the Schweizer Nati instead, and in an interview with ?Blick, he said: “[Albania is] the home of my family. Nevertheless, I decided to play for Switzerland and not for Albania.”


Ajeti Already Has European Experience

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?Having played regular football with Basel for years, Ajeti has had the privilege of playing in Europe. He has scored three goals in 15 European appearances for the RotBlau, as well as an impressive five goals in 11 appearances in the UEFA Youth League.

Ajeti has experienced European football at various levels, playing in qualifiers, group stage and knockout games in both the Champions League and Europa League. This includes the new season, as he scored in Basel’s 3-2 second round qualification first leg defeat to PSV.

With a goalscoring record, an international pedigree and European experience, Ajeti is the perfect player for West Ham. With many years ahead of him and time to develop and improve, he has a lot ahead of him as he starts his new life in east London.


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Jurgen Klopp Reveals What He Wants Liverpool to Improve on as Premier League Season Kicks Off

?Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants his team to be the ‘most intense’ in the Premier League in 2019/20 as the Reds look to go one better than last season, while Klopp also wants to improved self-awareness and confidence from his players as well.

Liverpool won the Champions League last season, the club’s sixth European title, but fell marginally short in the most tense title race in Premier League history.

Jurgen Klopp

“Last year gave us a few important pieces of information. For sure, we could increase our self-awareness and confidence as well,” Klopp is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.

“Do we want to have the best defence again? Yes. Do we wish that Ali gets the Golden Gloves award again? Yes. That gives you the opportunity that means you don’t have to score five goals each game to win,” the German coach added.

“We want to be intense – more intense than other teams. There’s not a competition for it, but it’s a title you can win, to be the most intense team. That’s what we want to be, however you want to measure that. If we are that and mixed with our quality and the potential that we have, it could be good football and successful football. That’s the plan.”

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Liverpool have the honour of kicking off the new Premier League season on Friday night as newly promoted Norwich make the lengthy trip from East Anglia to Merseyside.

Star forward Sadio Mane is fit and available despite only returning to training at the start of this week after playing for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final on 19 July.

James Milner has also overcome a minor muscle injury that ruled him out of the Community Shield against former club Manchester City last weekend.

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Man Utd Turn Attention Back to Technical Director Search After Disappointing Transfer Window

?Manchester United have reignited plans to appoint a technical director following an underwhelming summer transfer window in which the club signed only three players and made one sale, although that technical director is unlikely to be directly responsible for transfers.

With executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward overseeing business, Romelu Lukaku left the club for Inter in a £73m deal on Premier League deadline day, while fans were left disappointed with an overall lack of new faces after last season, particularly in midfield.

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Seemingly in a bid to add more structure to proceedings in the future, BBC Sport reports that the Old Trafford club will now turn attention back to appointing a technical director.

Such a move has been on the cards for some time, dating back to Jose Mourinho’s time in charge. But nothing ever materialised despite holding conversations with former players Rio Ferdinand and Darren Fletcher earlier this year about joining a ‘transfer committee’.

It was later reported in mid-June that while meetings with potential candidates for the technical director role had taken place, none had progressed into anything meaningful.

Rio Ferdinand

The BBC’s report notes that Woodward has kept Ferdinand and Fletcher in the loop, although there have not been any further face-to-face meetings. There has been no job offer, while it is also thought whoever gets the job won’t be ‘negotiating with or signing transfer targets’.

It therefore appears that United’s plan is for a technical director to be more involved in the identification and scouting process, with Woodward and his team, including head of corporate development Matt Judge, remaining in charge of actually doing the deals – or trying to.

In what is left of the summer, United still have an opportunity to shift remaining deadwood without harming the squad. The transfer windows in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal are all still open and the likes of Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo could yet leave the club.

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Darmian has been relegated to fourth choice right-back following the arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot this summer and last, while Rojo is one of seven centre-backs currently in the first-team squad after a proposed deadline day move to Everton failed.

Even Axel Tuanzebe could yet leave if game-time opportunities are going to be difficult to come by this season. The Championship buying window passed with the Premier League’s on Thursday but second-tier clubs can still complete loan deals until the end of the month.

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David Luiz Explains Why He Left Chelsea to Join Arsenal in Shock Deadline Day Transfer

?New Arsenal defender David Luiz has explained that he left Premier League rivals Chelsea to join the Gunners because he felt had reached the end of his ‘cycle’ at Stamford Bridge and saw a move across London as a good opportunity for a new challenge.

Luiz, a Premier League winner as recently as 2016/17 when he played 33 times en-route to glory, was an £8m transfer deadline capture for Arsenal after emerging as a shock late target.


“The cycle finished [at Chelsea]. It was a conversation between me and Chelsea and everybody. I had an opportunity to come to another big club,” Luiz told Arsenal.com.

“In my life, I’ve always liked challenges. I’m not scared at all to try things. I think not too many players would make this kind of move, they would maybe be scared, or something like that.

“I’m just trying to do big things in my life, so like I said, my cycle at Chelsea finished and now I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life here.”

A report from the Evening Standard suggests that Luiz, who is believed to have pushed for the move to Arsenal, was concerned over a potential lack of playing time at Chelsea this season under the new direction of boss Frank Lampard.

David Luiz

The 32-year-old Brazilian had been left on the bench for last weekend’s friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach, with Lampard favouring Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma.

Chelsea may well be concerned that Luiz’s sudden exit leaves the club with minimal centre-back depth at the start of what already promised to be a difficult season after a transfer ban prevented the signing of new players during the summer.

Christensen, Zouma and Antonio Rudiger, who is returning from a knee injury, are the only three recognised centre-backs in the first-team squad, although club captain Cesar Azpilicueta has also been known to occupy the role despite reverting back to a more natural full-back position.

As far as looking forward to life at Arsenal, Luiz is hoping to win trophies with his new club, with coach Unai Emery a ‘big, big part’ of his decision to join and existing relationships with technical director Edu and head of football Raul Sanllehi also contributing.


“I know the quality of the team, the players, and that’s what makes me excited to dream, to have the ambition to win big things,” he said.

“I think all my life, I’ve always started the season with the goal to win things. It’s not going to be different here – I’m going to come with this mentality because this is what made me move here. This is what makes me feel good every single day.

“I have to run for one reason, for one goal, and my goal is to win things with Arsenal.”

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Bayern Munich Romp to Brutal 23-0 Victory Over Amateur Side FC Rottach-Egern

In the hallowed halls of media cliches, a gigantic football score is normally known as a cricket score. But, while 23-0 is a feasible cricket score, it doesn’t really ring true. But a rugby score? Now we’re talking. 

And we have Bayern Munich to thank for this linguistic revolution, after the Bundesliga champions romped (don’t worry, that’s still the only appropriate word for such a win) to a 23-0 win against FC Rottach-Egern.


It was rottach luck for Egern, who were made to look like amateurs against the Bavarians because, well, that’s what they are. But that’s not the point.

Having gone down 20-2 (more of a cricket score that, Clive) in the same game last summer, the Tegernsee side were keen to right some wrongs this time around. And they certainly did, for six minutes or so. 

But then they let Swansea City flop Renato Sanches open the scoring, and when you do that, you know you’re in for a hiding. This was confirmed a mere minute later, when 18-year-old Leon Dajuku made it two, with Robert Lewandowski scoring the first of his three goals two minutes after that. 

In the 20th minute, Sanches scored his second and Bayern’s fifth, with Lewandowski rapping up a hat-trick inside 29 minutes. In the 34th minute, Serge Gnabry came to the party, before the Corentin Tolisso takeover took off, with the Frenchman netting four in five minutes. 

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So that’s 11-0 at halftime, keep up. 

Admirably, Rottach then held the floodgates for four long minutes, before Thomas Muller broke the resistance, with Kwasi Reidt and Sarpreet Singh piling it on in the next ten minutes.

God, this is getting exhausting just writing it, imagine actually having to pick the ball out of the net this many times?

Anyway, Muller nabbed another in the 61st minute, before Leon Goretzka grabbed a four-minute brace. Then poor Lard Dietrich scored an own goal, Wriedt got his brace and Goretzka completed his hat-trick. 79 long hard minutes have ticked by. It’s 20-0. 

The Tengerseeans had ten minutes to keep it a cricket score. But alas they then met the irrepressible force of Alex Nollenberger. Is it dead? Alas, no, there were still two more hat-tricks to be sealed – first Wriedt, then, in the 88th minute, Muller. 

For the remaining two minutes – christ, I hope there wasn’t any added time – the Rottachs stood firm.

Niko Kovac

I’ll leave you with a line in FCB’s official match report, because it really does rub the salt in the 23 wounds. 

It reads: “In contrast to last year’s meeting, the plucky hosts failed to find the net themselves but the result was of secondary importance.”

Ouch. 

Oh, and Lucas Hernandez made his return from injury with a debut. That’s the most important thing. Obviously.

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