Albian Ajeti has blown his big Celtic chance and Ange now needs to consider extreme options

By John McGinley

September 27, 2021

One of the most frustrating aspects of yesterday’s Celtic performance against Dundee United was how ineffective Albian Ajeti was.

This is supposed to be the Swiss striker’s big moment in a Celtic shirt. Redemption for all that time spent out of the team under Neil Lennon. Proving that he can be a part of this Hoops outfit. Proving that he is worth that £4.5m it took to sign him from West Ham. [BBC]

For me, he’s blown that big chance and I’m not sure he’s worth a Celtic start either on Thursday against Bayer Leverkusen or on Sunday against Aberdeen.

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti was poor at Livingston and dreadful on Sunday / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That would leave Ange Postecoglou pursuing some extreme options. But I think they’re worth considering at the very least.

For me, Celtic could be best served to play Jota or Liel Abada through the middle while Kyogo Furhashi is out.

Now, I get this is far from ideal, but I do think it would allow Celtic to get back to the more fluid attacking movement that was a hallmark of this side before all the injuries.

Celtic 1-1 Dundee United | Full-Time Reaction

Celtic 1-1 Dundee United | Full-Time Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

With Ajeti in the team, we are just far too static in those areas. He doesn’t have that ruthless ambition to make a run beyond the defence, drag an opponent around or gamble on the six-yard area.

My patience snapped towards the end of yesterday’s game when Adam Montgomery fired a devilish ball across the face of goal while Ajeti found himself tangled up at the near post behind a United defender.

I reckon Jota would provide that movement, even if he’s less physical. And we know Abada has that poaching instinct from his six goals already in a Celtic shirt.

There’s an opportunity to bring Adam Montgomery into a left-wing position, then have Jota and Abada across the pitch in the middle and on the right, in whatever configuration you like.

That would also result in Liam Scales playing at left-back, with Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor out. Boli Bolingoli is not registered for Europe.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

There’s even the possibility of using a truly untested youngster like Owen Moffat, with injuries the way they are right now.

For me though, regardless of who comes in, we just can’t rely on Ajeti anymore. That’s sad to say, but it’s how I feel. The thought of the striker trudging around Pittodrie is a grim one as it stands.

Let’s pursue a different option rather than do the same thing we know won’t work. There are ways to produce an alternative, even with our current squad problems.

Ange has some big calls to make this week.

In other news, the 2 red card incidents at Celtic Park yesterday that nobody is talking about.