Semi Ajayi Ready for Middlesbrough after Denying Neymar, Firmino and Gabriel Jesus

Semi Ajayi is riding the crest of a wave after returning from international duty to focus on
West Brom matters.

Fresh from holding Neymar, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus and co at arm’s length in Nigeria’s friendly draw with Brazil, the centre-back has both eyes fixed on the trip to Middlesbrough. The Super Eagles drew 1-1 with the Samba stars; Rangers man Joe Aribo gave them the lead, before Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro levelled things up after half time.
It was an eye catching display from Ajayi, though, but truthfully that’s only been in-keeping with his domestic form.
Still, to keep a star studded team such as Brazil at bay - be it a friendly or not - is not to be sniffed at.
“I’m feeling really good,” Ajayi said. “The Brazil game went really well. I’ve given myself a lot of confidence coming up against the big stars. Hopefully I can carry that form into our league game on the weekend."

“You want to play against the best players and test yourself. If you can come out of that with a good performance and a good result then that is even better so the trip went really well.”
Widely considered to be one of the best pieces of business that the Championship saw in the summer window, Ajayi’s form with each week that passes is almost making a mockery of the fact that the Baggies such a small amount on him.

He cost just £1.5m from Rotherham United who, despite the fact they were relegated and so expecting to part with Ajayi, will still feel short changed.

The centre-back is clearly enjoying it as much as the Albion fans. “It’s a joy to be involved in,” Ajayi continued. “Everyone is on the same page, the manager has got us singing off the same hymn sheet."
“He is very detailed in the way he tells us how he wants us to play and everyone has taken it on board and it has been a joy to be a part of and to watch. Some of the forward play at times has been breathtaking."

“I’ve been over the moon to come straight into the team and settle in. The lads have welcomed me really well and the fact that the team has been winning as well has made it even easier for me to settle. It’s been a really, really positive environment for me to come into and long may it continue.”

By Olamide Oyetunji

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