Real Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini picks out Celtic danger man tonight

By John McGinley

September 16, 2021

Real Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini has warned his team that they will need to be wary of Albian Ajeti tonight, who is likely to start for Celtic.

Ajeti is in the frame for a European mission after an injury to Kyogo Furuhashi and a slow start for new signing Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Pellegrini is well aware of the Swiss striker given he was the manager who signed him up at West Ham from Basel.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ajeti would eventually make a £4.5m switch [BBC] to the Bhoys, where his progress in green and white has been slow.

However, the Betis is ensuring his side keep an eye on him tonight after a double against Ross County at the weekend.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said: “We have a lot of respect for Celtic, they have many good players.

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

“We brought him [Ajeti] from Switzerland to West Ham and at that point he was a young striker with a big future.

“Now he has the opportunity to demonstrate his talent at Celtic and also with the national squad with Switzerland.

“He is a striker we must be very aware of.”

Tonight will be Ajeti’s second start since February, so our expectations can’t be too high of a stellar European performance.

However, those goals against County will have surely given him a confidence boost to become more involved in Celtic’s attacking play than we’ve seen over the last 12 months.

Albian Ajeti celebrates for Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

If we’re to get anything from tonight’s fixture, and that’s a big ask, we need Ajeti to be there and ready to link up with the midfield out ball.

We know he can stick a chance or two away, but can he integrate himself into a whole team performance? The jury is still out on that for me.

Hopefully, tonight gives us a positive signal. Pellegrini clearly thinks there’s a player there or he wouldn’t have signed him to the Premier League.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou lifts lid on process to choose tonight’s Celtic captain.