Egli Kaja (born 26 July 1997) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Altrincham. Kaja also represents Albania and received his first international call-up in May 2017.

Egli Kaja
Personal information
Full name Egli Kaja[1]
Date of birth (1997-07-26) 26 July 1997 (age 25)
Place of birth Prelez i Jerlive, Ferizaj, FR Yugoslavia
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s) Winger
Club information
Current team
Altrincham
Number 33
Youth career
2003–2006 MHD
2006–2008 Kingstonian
2008–2015 AFC Wimbledon
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2019 AFC Wimbledon 22 (0)
2016Lewes (loan) 7 (1)
2018Livingston (loan) 6 (0)
2019–2020 Northampton Town 4 (0)
2021–2022 AFC Wimbledon 5 (0)
2022 Hampton & Richmond Borough 2 (0)
2022– Altrincham 1 (1)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 19:43, 23 August 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 13 May 2017

Club careerEdit

Kaja's career began in 2003 with youth side MHD, where he was offered the opportunity to join Middlesbrough.[3] Having finished as top scorer for three consecutive seasons, Kaja joined Kingstonian in 2006 upon moving to London.[4] Once again finishing as top scorer in the youth set-up, he turned down a trial with Chelsea in order to join AFC Wimbledon.[3] Enjoying a brief stint with AC Milan on trial, he later featured for the Dons on a scholarship, and turned down a second chance to compete for a contract in Milan the following season.[3]

Kaja signed a professional contract with AFC Wimbledon in April 2015, and made his first team debut on Saturday 26 September.[5] Coming off the bench in a 2–0 defeat to Luton Town,[6] he also made a substitute appearance three days later in a 1–1 draw with Northampton Town.[7] He scored his first goal for Wimbledon in an EFL Trophy tie against Barnet on 29 August 2017.[8]

On 16 December 2016 Kaja was sent on loan to Lewes in the 2016–17 Isthmian League for one month.[9] He made his debut on 31 December 2016 against Three Bridges in a 4–2 win.[10] He scored his first and only goal for Lewes on 10 January 2017 against Herne Bay in a 2–4 away win.[11]

In July 2018, Kaja joined newly-promoted Scottish Premiership side Livingston on a season-long loan but was recalled by new Wimbledon manager Wally Downes in December.[12]

On 2 September 2019, Kaja joined Northampton on a free transfer until January 2020.

On 26 November 2021, Kaja returned to AFC Wimbledon on a short-term deal.[13]

On 5 August 2022, following his release from AFC Wimbledon, Kaja joined Hampton & Richmond Borough after impressing during pre-season.[14]

Just a few days after joining Hampton & Richmond Borough, Kaja left to join Altrincham.[15]

International careerEdit

Kaja received his first international call up at the Albania national under-21 football team by coach Alban Bushi for a gathering between 14–17 May 2017 with most of the players selected from Albanian championships.[16]

Style of playEdit

Kaja is able to "play on either wing, or be deployed as a second striker".[12] Upon signing for Livingston on loan, player-manager Kenny Miller described him as "quick, powerful and direct" adding that he "will bring a different dimension to our offensive options".[12]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 23 August 2022 [17]
Club statistics
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
AFC Wimbledon 2015–16[18] League Two 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2016–17[19] League One 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2017–18[20] League One 19 0 0 0 1 0 4[a] 2 24 2
Total 22 0 0 0 1 0 4 2 27 2
Lewes (loan) 2016–17[19] Isthmian League Premier Division 7 1 0 0 7 1
Livingston (loan) 2018–19[21] Scottish Premiership 6 0 0 0 2 0 8 0
Northampton Town 2019–20[22] League Two 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
AFC Wimbledon 2021–22[23] League One 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Hampton & Richmond Borough 2022–23[24] National League South 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Altrincham 2022–23[24] National League 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
Career total 47 2 2 0 3 0 4 2 56 4
  1. ^ Appearances in the EFL Trophy

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Retained List 2016-17" (PDF). English Football League. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  2. ^ Egli Kaja at WorldFootball.net  
  3. ^ a b c Underwood, Matt. "Egli Kaja - Cliff Johnson - Trix2themax fitness Ltd -". www.trix2themaxfitness.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  4. ^ Slavin, Chris. "Kaja aims to build on debut". www.afcwimbledon.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Wimbledon Academy on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Luton Town 2-0 AFC Wimbledon". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  7. ^ "AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Northampton Town". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Barnet FC 3-4 AFC Wimbledon - Checkatrade Trophy". barnetfc.com. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Egli goes out on loan - News". AFC Wimbledon. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Lewes 4 Three Bridges 2". Crawley News 24. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Herne Bay 1 vs. 4 Lewes - 10 January 2017 - First Team". Herne Bay Football Club. Herne Bay F.C. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Livingston: 'Direct' winger Egli Kaja joins on loan from AFC Wimbledon". BBC. 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Egli makes 'dream' return 14 years after he first signed!". AFC Wimbledon. 26 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  14. ^ Reid, James (5 August 2022). "EGLI KAJA JOINS THE BEAVERS". Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  15. ^ "Boost for Alty as Phil snaps up livewire winger".
  16. ^ Grumbullohet Kombëtarja U-21, Alban Bushi bën publike listën Panorama Sport
  17. ^ Egli Kaja at Soccerway. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Games played by Egli Kaja in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Games played by Egli Kaja in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Games played by Egli Kaja in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Games played by Egli Kaja in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Games played by Egli Kaja in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Games played by Egli Kaja in 2021/2022". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  24. ^ a b "E. Kaja". Soccerway. Retrieved 24 August 2022.

External linksEdit