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‘Disrupt defenders and open up that space’ – Ipswich Town reporter shares insight into what Gassan Ahadme will bring to Charlton Athletic

East Anglian Daily Times Ipswich Town reporter Alex Jones has backed Gassan Ahadme to thrive under Nathan Jones and has expressed the importance of the striker’s role in preserving Cambrige’s League One status last season.

The Addicks completed the signing of the 23-year-old on a four-year deal on Thursday, with Ahadme the second striker through the door along with Matty Godden following Alfie May’s departure to join league rivals Birmingham City.

The South London Press caught up with the East Anglian Daily Times Ipswich Town reporter and Cambridge fan Alex Jones to gain an understanding of what Ahadme will bring to The Valley.

“Big, powerful and athletic are the main things,” Jones said, when asked what the 6ft 3in striker will bring to Nathan Jones’ side.

“You can see, with his height, that he is built very well for an EFL club, just with his size and threat that he has up front.

“The majority of what I have seen from him has come from Cambridge, considering he hasn’t played too much during his time at Ipswich.

“Looking at how he fitted in at Cambridge, he was the guy there who enjoyed leading the line by himself.

“He can play in a two, and with how he can fit into Charlton, he’s the perfect archetype Nathan Jones partnership.

“You have got Matty Godden, who is quite a good poacher and will now be playing alongside someone in Ahadme who can hold the ball up and finish himself. He is also someone who will disrupt defenders and open up that space.

“It feels like a really good fit.”

Ahadme scored 13 goals in 23 starts for Cambridge United last term as they stayed up by four points.

“Cambridge would have gone down if it wasn’t for him – 100 per cent,” he added.

“He was the focal point. Charlton are spending a reported £1million, but Cambdirge haven’t had a player of that kind of quality since their first season back in League One when they had the likes of Paul Mullin, Wes Hoolhan and Joe Ironside.

“At a club where a lot of the quality has gone out and being able to replace that has been an issue, the one anomaly within that in terms of a real jewel and gem, has been Gassan. 

“If it wasn’t for him, there was no way they could have stayed up in terms of the attacking options they had last season.

“They were struggling for goals and he was the man for the big occasions.

“It’s also about playing to his strengths. I watched some games early on last season when they tried to play it on the floor to him, and he didn’t really know what to do when chasing through balls.

“But if you can get him the ball, even if it’s a more direct route, he will be able to hold it up and be able to be a threat.

“He’s fantastic in the air. He will work really well in a two up top.”

Ex-Portsmouth forward Ahadme joined the Tractor Boys from Burton Albion in September 2022 but only featured eight times, with Kieran McKenna’s side winning back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League.

“Ipswich’s policy in League One was quite extreme,” added Jones.

“In terms of the signings, some were for the sake of it. He played really well against Ipswich for Burton in the previous season and they needed a big squad. 

“If you’re trying to compete in the EFL Trophy and also trying to compete to go up from the Championship, while also dealing with EFL and FA Cup runs, you need a strong squad knowing that one or two injuries could demolish that.

“He just didn’t really get the opportunity. You could tell from that point that he needed a move out because he is a person who wants regular game time.

“It was clear in the Championship that he wasn’t going to be at the level of at least playing regular football. 

“It made sense for him to be in League One. By the time he had a full season in League One with Cambridge, Ipswich were in the Premier League.

“He’s been a bit unfortunate in that sense.”

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