Sheffield Wednesday: Almen Abdi ‘must fight’ for his Owls place

Almen Abdi talks with Carlos Carvalhal at training.
Almen Abdi talks with Carlos Carvalhal at training.

Carlos Carvalhal has warned new Owls signing Almen Abdi he will have to fight for his place in the team.

The Swiss international, who played an integral role in Watford gaining promotion to the Premier League in 2015, is in contention to make his Wednesday bow in their Championship opener against Aston Villa this Sunday.

Wednesday beat off strong competition to sign the attacking midfielder last week and are thought to have paid around £4 million for the talented 29-year-old.

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But despite the hefty transfer fee, Carvalhal insists Abdi is not a guaranteed starter.

The Owls head coach told The Star: “Almen must fight to play but it is not a problem to him. He is a clever player. It is very easy for him to understand exactly what we want.

“He’s a team worker and we appreciate these kind of players.”

It hasn’t taken Abdi long to acclimatise to his new surroundings. His diverse passing range, nimble footwork and eye for goal were evident in the second half of Wednesday’s 3-0 friendly success over Port Vale last Sunday. Abdi capped off his impressive debut in fine fashion by getting on the score-sheet.

“Almen showed a lot of qualities,” said Carvalhal, who is looking to bring in more reinforcements before the transfer window closes on August 31.