Daniel Gabbidon tipped Albian Ajeti to be a good addition to West Ham’s squad and compared him to Javier Hernandez in the process.
The former Hammers defender was asked by Laura Woods ahead of the Hammers’ 2-0 win over Newport County on Tuesday what he made of Ajeti and he seemed to believe that Manuel Pellegrini had made a good move by getting on the books.
“Hopefully goals, I think the transfer has gone under the radar with Sebastien Haller coming in for big money, but he certainly looks a different type of striker to Haller,” said Gabbidon while on Sky Sports’ coverage of West Ham v Newport (19:35, Tuesday, August 27th).
“He’s more Javier Hernandez-like, a box type of player, likes to get in behind, can shoot with either foot, very composed when he gets in those positions, so I think he’ll be a very good addition.”
The Hammers signed Ajeti from Swiss side FC Basel for £8million just before the transfer window shut, as per the BBC, after he scored 15 goals in 35 outings last season.
While a lot was made of Sebastien Haller joining the club, as Gabbidon pointed out, it’s fair to say Ajeti has arrived at the London Stadium with not the same amount of hype.
Gabbidon clearly has checked out Ajeti out and the fact he believes he is a different type of forward to Haller means the two could complement each other and given Pellegrini a Plan B, however, the fact he thinks he is a similar player to Hernandez surely spells trouble for the Mexican international.
In fact, Hernandez will surely feel like his new teammate could take his spot as the Hammers could see Ajeti,22, as the younger model of the 31-year-old forward.
This is especially the case when you consider that Claret and Hugh previously reported that Hernandez is exit-bound as he is set to leave the Hammers to join an MLS side in January, and while they claim he is eager to jump at the chance, based on Ajeti being already at the London Stadium then maybe he has no option but to leave.
Hernandez has only managed 17 goals in 63 outings for the Hammers and if Ajeti is a similar player who can rack up better numbers for the London club, then it seems like the Swiss forward could bump the 31-year-old out the picture.
The only positive Hernandez can take from Gabbidon comparing Ajeti to him, is that the 22-year-old hasn’t proved himself in England just yet.
The 22-year-old made his full Hammers debut against Newport on Tuesday and didn’t have an overly stellar start.
Ajeti managed to touch the ball only 29 times, all three of his efforts on goal failed to hit the target, as per WhoScored, and only 66.7% of his passes found their market.
However given that the clash with Newport was Ajeti’s first real taste of English football, Hernandez probably is still looking over his shoulder at his teammate.