After gaining promotion from the English Championship with West Bromwich Albion, Nigeria’s Semi Ajayi looks set to make his Premier League debut when the Baggies welcome Leicester City to the Hawthorns on Sunday.
Ajayi made 43 appearances and scored five goals for Albion in the English second-division last season – where they finished runners-up behind Championship winners Leeds United and secured promotion to the Premier League – having been relegated in the 2017-2018 season.
And the 26-year-old says he’s ready to make an impact this season in the Premier League with West Brom.
“We’ve put a lot of hard work in over the last 12 months to be in this position and it’s definitely not a chance we’re going to take lightly,” he told the club’s website.
“I’m massively excited. Everyone has so much belief in each other because we see the quality in the players that we have day in, day out in training so it’s time for us to take that into the Premier League and show everyone else what we’re capable of.”
The Nigerian defender also says that the Baggies will be “somewhat of an unknown quantity at this level and a lot of people don’t know how we play and the dangers we possess.”
“I always want to test myself against the best and I can’t wait to go and show people what I can do and a good season would be Premier League survival, as a minimum, having a good Cup run and continuing to represent my country,” he continued.
Ajayi, a former Charlton Athletic defender was also an unused substitute on the bench for Arsenal during his time at the Emirates (2013 – 2015), and had loan spells with Cardiff City, AFC Wimbledon, Crewe Alexandra, and Rotherham United, before joining West Brom in July 2019 on a four-year contract for undisclosed fee.
He has made 11 international caps for Nigeria’s Super Eagles, but missed out on getting selected for last year’s Africa Cup of Nations squad in Egypt.
And looking ahead to Sunday’s game against Leicester City, in what will be their first game back in the English top-flight, Ajayi points out that his team are not “under any illusions,” but will go into the game against the Foxes “with our own game plan, ideas and hopefully come away with a result.”
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