Top 10 things you need to know about Miralem Sulejmani plus watch him in action

West Ham have boosted their forward line with the loan signing of Ajax forward Miralem Sulejmani.

So what do we know about the Serb? MirrorFootball's Rob Burnett fills you in...

1) Miralem Sulejmani was born in Belgrade on December 5, 1988 making him 21 years old. You can call him Miki for short.

2) Outside his native Serbia and adopted country of Holland, Sulejmani is probably best known for the stunning Europa League goal he scored against Juventus last February, in which he ran virtually the full length of the pitch before beating Gianluigi Buffon.

3) An attack-minded player, Sulejmani can play up front or on the right wing and is rated as one of the most exciting young talents to emerge from Serbia for years, although he did not make Raddy Antic's 23 for South Africa despite being named in the provisional squad - and despite this hat-trick for the U-21s last November...

4) Sulejmani started his career in youth football for local side FK BSK Batajnica before quickly being snapped up by Belgrade giants Partizan. But with a host of Dutch clubs chasing him, he played only one game for the senior team before Heerenveen won the race. He signed for them in December 2006, just one day after his 18th birthday.

5) But his debut was delayed by a feud between Partizan, Heerenveen and Sulejmani's agent over whether a slice of his transfer fee should go to the Belgrade club's youth system. Caught in the middle, Sulejmani was banned by FIFA until May 2007 - handily when the Dutch season had finished. His actual debut didn't come until August.

6) The wait was worth it. After starting his first campaign on the wing he found himself playing up front and leading the line after Afonso Alves left for Middlesbrough. The reward was these 15 goals in 2007/08.

7) Yet Sulejmani was never likely to stay around for long. He admitted his ambition was to emulate his hero Ruud van Nistelrooy. who began his career at Heerenveen before progressing to PSV Eindhoven and then Manchester United. "I want a career just like van Nistelrooy," he said. " I don't hide my ambitions. I want to become the best player in the world."

8) PSV were among the pack of clubs now monitoring Sulejmani, with Chelsea and Feyenoord also interested. But in July 2008 Ajax took the plunge and paid €16.25m for him. The fee was the largest ever between two Dutch clubs, a record previously held by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's €9m move between the same two sides in 2005 - and came just as Sulejmani was voted best young talent of the year in Holland

9) The move couldn't have started better, Sulejmani scoring a cracking winner on his debut against Willem II...

Bizarrely, the goal looks even better on this mobile phone footage from the stands!

10) But things quickly went downhill as Sulejmani complained of a series of niggling injuries, looked out of shape during last summer's European Under-21 Championships and, according to Jol, returned for the start of last season out of shape after doing "nothing for a few weeks". The kid who wanted to be the best in the world ended up instead as a highly expensive sub, showing only occasional flashes of his potential. Can West Ham save him?

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williamhill.com

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