"A student of the game.." Who is new Sheffield Wednesday striker signing Florian Kamberi?
Sheffield Wednesday have a new striker.
Florian Kamberi is through the door and has been unveiled as Darren Moore’s seventh signing of the summer, the latest jigsaw piece in the revolution of this Owls side.
The Swiss-born Albanian international is a relative unknown to most Wednesdayites, so we took a look at what he does, what he’s achieved in his career and how he might fit in to the Wednesday way.
Who is he?
Born in Switzerland, Kamberi is a powerful, athletic six-foot-two striker who arrives at Hillsborough with a reputation for holding up play and being a general nuisance for defenders.
A confident and highly competitive figure, at 26 he is arguably in his peak years.
His former manager at Rangers, England legend Steven Gerrard paid testament to his attitude and desire to work hard on the training ground.
“He’s the ultimate professional, in great shape,” Gerrard said back in February last year.
“He has asked a lot of questions from a tactical point of view so he seems like a student of the game. He wants to learn and he is really enjoying being here.”
What’s he done?
Starting out at Swiss part-timers FC Rapperswil-Jona, Kamberi was quickly picked up by Swiss giants Grasshopper Zurich, where he played three years of first team football, scoring six times in 41 appearances.
Loan spells with 2.Bundesliga side Karlsruher SC and then Scottish outfit Hibs followed and it was in Edinburgh that he enjoyed his hottest run of goalscoring form, belting nine goals in 14 league games to earn a permanent move.
In total he scored 30 times in 84 matches for Hibs, offering 13 assists, and at the turn of last year spent time on loan at Rangers, where he played in the Europa League and impressed manager Steven Gerrard among others.
In August 2020 he chose to move home to Switzerland and joined St Gallen, before returning to Scotland for a temporary switch to Aberdeen.
A former Switzerland youth international, he has been called up for senior involvement with Albania – though he remains uncapped – and was in the squad that played England in World Cup qualifiers in March this year.
He signs for Wednesday on a season-long loan.
How will he fit in?
It’s been no secret that Wednesday have been on the lookout for a new striker all summer.
The departure of Jordan Rhodes last month left only Josh Windass and the versatile Callum Paterson as senior strikers in the Owls squad.
With Olamide Shodipo and Lewis Wing already in the door and links to the likes of Marvin Johnson, Wednesday will hope to create more chances than they have in previous seasons and the likes of Kamberi will need to be sharp to convert.
He is one of four loanees already in the door – Wednesday can name a maximum of five in any matchday squad.
Kamberi’s physical presence offers something Wednesday don’t necessarily have too much of. He gives Moore a much-needed new option up top heading into the season and could make his debut against Huddersfield Town on Sunday.