Ajeti comments on 2019 Celtic interest; praises Lennon and Hammond

By Hamish Carton

August 13, 2020

New Celtic recruit Albian Ajeti says Neil Lennon and Nick Hammond were the “main reason” for his move to the Scottish champions.

The energetic frontman completed his move to Celtic on Thursday, penning a four-year deal in the process.

Ajeti then met press in the afternoon at Celtic Park – and gave a great account of himself on his first day in Glasgow.

The Swiss international was asked when he first heard of Celtic’s interest and, as he revealed rather surprisingly, it wasn’t this summer.

“To be fair, I heard about the interest from Celtic over a year ago,” he said, as per Celtic’s official YouTube video.

Ajeti in action for Basel / (Photo by Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images)

“This was the main reason, for me, why I should sign for Celtic.

“If a sporting director and a boss like Neil Lennon shows so much interest in you, you just have to do it.

“For me, this was the main reason. Because the sporting director and Neil Lennon did a great job.”

Hammond impact

When Ajeti refers to the sporting director he is of course talking about Nick Hammond.

It is interesting to hear him speak so positively about the impact the club’s ‘Head of Football Operations’ – to give him his official title. (Celtic website)

Hammond (right) played an important role / (Photo by Adam Fradgley – AMA/Getty Images)

Hammond’s persistence since last summer clearly paid off in the end, and for that he deserves credit.

Now he just needs to secure us a solid centre-back, a right winger and a left-back and we’ll be laughing

First thoughts on Ajeti

Signing press conferences are never the most enthralling or educating experiences.

The usual rhetoric from the player about knowing the size of Celtic was there. As was a mention of 10 in-a-row and a sprinkling of Champions League nights at Paradise.

Ajeti coped with it all fine, answering questions stylishly but not overindulging in any responses.

He was polite and well mannered, but you get the impression he may not be quite as friendly on the pitch.

Celtic forward Albian Ajeti / (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

Put it this way, I wouldn’t want to get on his wrong side.

Hopefully a fair few opposition sides will be feeling the wrath of the former West Ham man this season.

Starting with KR Reykjavik on Tuesday. Could you ask for a better chance to get off the mark?

In other news, Boli Bolingoli will be retrospectively punished following his recent breach of COVID protocol.