Albian Ajeti shouldn't be happy with Switzerland snub; Celtic star must channel anger into motivation
Last night, Albian Ajeti will likely have watched on as his home nation fell to a 2-1 defeat in Belgium in an international friendly.
Unfortunately, the Celtic striker wasn’t in the matchday squad. In fact, Ajeti isn’t part of Switzerland’s international camp whatsoever after being dropped by manager Vladimir Petkovic.
Over the next five days, Switzerland will be at home in two crucial Nations League matches against Spain and Ukraine respectively. Two wins could end up being enough to top a table that involves Germany too. However, avoiding relegation from the group will likely be their sole aim.
Whatever that goal is, the fact is that these games are massive for Ajeti’s nation. Yet his international boss hasn’t seen enough to merit the new Celtic striker’s inclusion. That’s despite calling him up for the previous September camp before he was injured for the October one.
When probed on why Ajeti and Rangers’ Cedric Itten weren’t involved in the squad, Swiss boss Petkovic said: “I think we have other players who can help us instead.” (Daily Record).
That’s not an answer that should satisfy Ajeti.
Ajeti no worse than Switzerland’s current options
Dinamo Zagreb’s Mario Gavranovic and Borussia Monchengladbach forward Breel Embolo started up top against Belgium. As well as those two, Pekovic has selected Benfica striker Haris Seferovic.
Seferovic you can understand given his fine start to the season with Benfica. However, Gavaronic only has five goals so far this season whilst Embolo hasn’t scored any in seven competitive appearances for Borussia (Transfermarkt).
Ajeti may only have recently returned from injury, but he’s been showing positive signs and got himself an assist against Motherwell at the weekend. His sharpness is returning, and not making that group of players with Switzerland should frustrate him.
The current international break will be the last one until the March break-up. Ajeti has to make it a priority to be back involved with his national team by then, because he’s certainly good enough.
In recent weeks he’s been getting his match-sharpness back up, and looked close to his best against Motherwell. He should feel furious at being left out given he could’ve made a difference in his country’s most important fixtures for the foreseeable future.
His next chance to impress Petkovic will come in friendly matches in the new year. It’s not the most exciting prospect for him, but Ajeti is too good to be left out of the international fold for long.
Here’s hoping he channels any anger at being left out into proving Petkovic wrong in the coming weeks.