On-loan City striker seals permanent League One deal

Portsmouth's Gassan Ahadme during the Papa John's Trophy Southern Group B match at Fratton Park, Por

Norwich City academy striker Gassan Ahadme has been on loan at Portsmouth - Credit: PA

Norwich City youngster Gassan Ahadme has finished his Portsmouth loan spell early to secure a permanent League One deal elsewhere.

The 21-year-old striker has signed for Burton Albion after falling out of favour at Pompey, with his Canaries contract due to expire in the summer.

The Brewers are 12th in the third tier, just four places and five points below Portsmouth in the table having played a game more.

Their manager, former Chelsea and Leeds striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, has been keen to freshen up his squad and striker Kane Hemmings has just been sold to Tranmere for a nominal fee.

That would appear to clear the way for Ahadme, with 18-year-old Sheffield United loan striker Daniel Jebbison the current top scorer with eight goals.

Signed from Spanish junior side Gimnastic Manresa in January 2019 and scored in a win over Manchester United Under-23s in his first Premier League Two start for City's development squad.

After eight goals in 16 games for the U23s during 2019-20, he spent last season on loan with the B team of Real Oviedo making just six appearances as a substitute towards the end of the campaign due to a foot injury.

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He went on trial at Pompey and scored eight goals in four games during pre-season, including one against Burton in a behind-closed-doors friendly and a brace against Championship side Bristol City.

The move hasn't worked out though, scoring once in 10 appearances, which was in the EFL Trophy against Crystal Palace U23s. Ahadme started just two league games and has only made one brief cameo in a League One game since August.

Ahead of his Canaries contract expiring this summer, he has another chance to try and impress but Burton haven't revealed the length of his contract.

Giving him the squad number nine previously worn by Hemmings, Hasslbaink told his club's website: “He fits the profile of what we’re looking for in a forward - he’s mobile and has potential. 

“We think we can develop him and make him a better player. We like that plays with energy and can get around the pitch for a big forward.

“We have high hopes for him and was impressed when he first saw him when he played against us in pre-season - we are happy that he’s now one of our players.”

Ahadme added: “I’ve had a tough time lately and I really see this as a great opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of and I’m really looking forward to it.

“The manager told me it is a good platform for me to show what I can do and to obviously work for him is really exciting as well.

“For a tall striker I believe in my footwork. I also like to link up play and combine with other teammates, so hopefully I can get off to a great start and feel ready to go.”

Described as being recalled by Norwich on the Pompey website, their manager Danny Cowley said: “There was interest in him from other clubs in our division – and rightly so because he’s a talented young player.

“As with Ellis Harrison and Paul Downing, who have also departed recently, we wish him nothing but success moving forward.”

City's statement concluded by saying: "Everyone at Norwich City thanks Gassan for his service to the club and wishes him all the best for the future."

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