Every transfer represents something of a risk for everyone involved. From the buying club to the selling team and including the player themselves, all parties have something to lose.
Often times it can be the player who suffers most, though. That is especially true of footballers moving from one country to another, particularly one they haven’t played in before. When that country is England and the frantic pace of the Premier League, then it can be very difficult indeed.
With all that said, it would be no surprise if West Ham United’s summer signing Albian Ajeti was thinking that he might have made a mistake in swapping Swiss giants Basel for the east London outfit.
The 22-year-old will have been under no illusions that he was joining the Hammers to serve as back up to club record signing Sebastien Haller. However, he must have felt that he would get a bit more of an opportunity than he has had thus far.
To be fair to Irons manager Manuel Pellegrini, Ajeti hasn’t exactly distinguished himself when he has been given a chance to impress in a claret and blue shirt.
The Switzerland international has started two Carabao Cup games against lower league opposition, but provided next to no attacking spark on either occasion. The statistics from those games make for damning reading for the youngster.
As per WhoScored.com, in the first of those games – away at Newport County – Ajeti had three shots, all off target, and committed four unsuccessful touches of the ball. His WhoScored rating for that game? 6.82.
He was given another opportunity in the next round against Oxford United. However, he did even worse. As per WhoScored.com once again, the Swiss star had just one shot, off target again, was dispossessed once and had five unsuccessful touches. His WhoScored rating on that occasion was a horrendous 5.73.
So he must take his share of the responsibility, as well. He’s been poor in cup action, which won’t have done anything to compel Pellegrini to utilise him in league action.
However, the fact that, with the game at the London Stadium deadlocked at 1-1 against Crystal Palace for much of the second half on Saturday, Pellegrini still didn’t bring Ajeti off the substitute’s bench, will have sent alarm bells ringing in the beleaguered striker’s head.