Fulham and Everton are reportedly set to rival West Ham United and Newcastle United for RC Strasbourg hitman Ludovic Ajorque this summer.
According to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol, Fulham and Everton are among a host of Premier League clubs to have joined the race to sign Ludovic Ajorque. The duo will rival West Ham United and Newcastle United for his signature, with Strasbourg demanding £18 million for the French striker.
Formerly of Angers SCO and Clermont Foot, Ludovic Ajorque has enjoyed a steady rise from the lower reaches of French football to Ligue 1. The 28-year-old has been on the books of Strasbourg since 2018 and has established himself as a key player for the French club over the years.
The French striker was instrumental in Le Racing’s impressive sixth-place finish in Ligue 1 last season as they missed out on a European berth by just three points. Ajorque made 31 starts, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists in the process.
That excellent tally was no anomaly, as the imposing striker contributed 16 goals and four assists during the 2020/21 season, indicating that he can consistently hit double digits season after season. Ajorque still has two more years left on his current contract at Strasbourg, but with his head turned by the heavy outside interest, he could leave for a reported £18 million fee.
Ajorque’s brilliant record means he has a host of Premier League clubs on his tail at the moment. Everton, Fulham, Newcastle United, and West Ham United are among eight teams who watched him play against Liverpool last Sunday. And it seems he has left no stone unturned in drumming up the interest in him. Ajorque started for Strasbourg against the Reds and grabbed an assist as they ran away 3-0 victors at Anfield in a shock result.
Newcastle United, for one, have previously been mentioned as having interest in Ajorque as they continue their quest for a new striker. The French striker would be a cheaper alternative to many of the forwards that have been linked with Newcastle this summer and would provide excellent competition for the likes of Chris Wood and Callum Wilson.
As for Everton, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the club’s first-choice striker, but Salomon Rondon failed to impress as the Englishman’s deputy last season and looked out of place in the Premier League. Ajorque would thus be a big upgrade on Rondon and offer Everton a reliable alternative to call upon should Calvert-Lewin’s injury problems resurface this season. The same can be said for Fulham.
Marco Silva’s side needs additional attacking firepower, with Aleksandar Mitrovic not proving enough to secure top-flight survival for Fulham last time out. Ajorque, who is aerially dominating, is not only adept with his back to goal but also has extraordinary composure with the ball at his feet, unlike traditional a target man.
His creative play and predatory instincts might make him an ideal focal point for their attack, and his strike-partnership with Mitrovic at Fulham would be fascinating to watch. Meanwhile, West Ham are unlikely to pursue Ajorque since the Hammers do not require another striker after landing Gianluca Scamacca.