Sheffield Wednesday: New boy Almen Abdi tipped to make Owls impact

Almen Abdi
Almen Abdi
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New Owls signing Almen Abdi is capable of lighting up the Championship this season.

That’s the verdict of Watford Observer reporter Simon Mail after the midfielder completed his move to Hillsborough yesterday.

Switzerland international Abdi has penned a three-year contract, having passed his medical on Tuesday night. It is believed Wednesday have spent around £4m on the 29-year-old.

In his four-year stint at Vicarage Road, Abdi established himself as a big hit with the Hornets fans, scoring 12 goals in 43 appearances during his maiden season in Hertfordshire.

He was a regular starter in the 2012/13 campaign as Watford narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League, losing to Crystal Palace in the Championship Play-Off final.

Abdi featured 38 times for Watford last season but was frequently played out of position under Quique Sanchez Flores.

But new Hornets head coach Walter Mazzarri allowed Abdi to move on to pastures new after deeming his surplus to requirements.

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Mail, who covers Watford, told The Star: “Wednesday have a very good player on their hands. If Abdi is fit and firing, he should be one of the best players in the league by some distance.”

Abdi only played in two of the Hornets’ pre-season fixtures and was left out of Saturday’s draw against Anzhi Makhachkala.

“I am a little surprised Watford have let him go,” said Mail. “He has done well in the four years he has been here.

“A lot of people have said that Abdi is one of the most gifted midfielders that they have seen at the club in the last decade.

“Most fans seem to be disappointed with the decision but maybe the club have lined someone else up.

“You can only have 17 overseas players in a Premier League squad so they have to shift out a few.”

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Mail has outlined the attributes Abdi will bring to Wednesday’s midfield.

He said: “Abdi’s very versatile. Central midfield is his best position certainly but towards the end of last season he was shifted out wide a lot where he was less effective.

“He’s at his best when he’s playing in an attacking role.

“Abdi is technically gifted and has the ability to pick out a pass. He is a good set piece taker, scoring a reasonable amount of goals from set plays in his four years here.

“He’s not particularly the quickest but he is technically strong.”

Abdi and Daniel Pudil could be involved in Wednesday’s final pre-season fixture against Port Vale on Sunday.

Speaking to this newspaper last night, Abdi said: “I’m really happy to be here. Wednesday are a big club and I like the project. The club is very ambitious.

“They have a great stadium and good fans. They play football how I like it to be played and I’m looking to the new season.”

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