Albian Ajeti snubbed by Switzerland after difficult Celtic campaign
Celtic striker Albian Ajeti has failed to make the Switzerland squad for Euro 2020.
The delayed tournament has given cause for celebration amongst the Celtic squad, but Ajeti’s patchy form in his debut Bhoys campaign has cost him [Sun].
It’s an unfortunate end to the season for the 11-time Switzerland international [Transfermarkt]. Formerly of West Ham United, Ajeti cost Celtic £4.5m [BBC], but the forward has netted just 6 times in over 1,000 minutes of football this season. Despite an early run of form, Ajeti’s confidence and fitness waned throughout the season. By the end of Lennon’s tenure, he barely featured, while Kennedy rarely turned to him either.
It’s a scenario that Ajeti wouldn’t have envisioned upon signing for Celtic. An international, prolific for FC Basel, Ajeti was an interesting transfer to say the least. We’re still not entirely sure just what kind of striker he is, which systems benefit him, and where he fits in tactically.
Having made a rambunctious start to life in Scotland, it’s fallen away rather spectacularly, for reasons we’re still not entirely sure of. In a strange season all-round, Ajeti has been a case study of sorts.
He still has a massive chance at Celtic. His finishing and work-rate mean he’ll probably feature next season, but at what capacity?
Bad news for Ajeti, but familiar Celtic names will feature at Euro 2020
It’s not going to be the ideal summer for Ajeti, then. However, outside of Scotland, there will some familiar names that will interest Celtic supporters.
Take Sweden for example, who feature both Mikael Lustig and Jordan Larsson in their squad. Belgium have two former Celts in their defence, namely Dedryk Boyata and Jason Denayer, now at Hertha Berlin and Lyon respectively. Norwich goal machine Teemu Pukki, meanwhile, got the nod from Finland coach Markku Kanerva.
It’s also a good opportunity for Celtic’s scouts. Although, they should beware the precedent of players having excellent tournaments but struggling at club level.
In terms of Scotland, Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Jack Hendry, Greg Taylor, Ryan Christie and David Turnbull will be hoping to make an impact. Steve Clarke’s side is also full of ex-Bhoys, including David Marshall, Kieran Tierney, Stuart Armstrong, Craig Gordon and – if you like – Stephen O’Donnell, Declan Gallagher and Andy Robertson, who played for Celtic youth sides.
Bring it on.