Albian Ajeti's Rangers snub looks poor; Celtic man becoming an afterthought

By David Walton

January 5, 2021

Albian Ajeti’s Celtic appearances have dried up badly, but Saturday’s Rangers snub was his biggest blow yet.

Ajeti signed for Celtic in the summer for a reportedly whopping £5million from West Ham United (Sky Sports). The idea was he was going to be the predatory goalscorer we needed with Leigh Griffiths struggling for fitness.

Things couldn’t have gone much poorer for him since signing either. When he netted his fifth goal in six league games against Hibs back in September, nobody would’ve thought he wouldn’t score again in 2020. Indeed, Ajeti’s poor form has seen him drop out of things almost altogether.

The Swiss forward has found himself in matchday squads on a regular basis. But Lennon hasn’t been entrusting him. Instead he’s went for the combination of Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths.

But Saturday’s game against Rangers had everything going for Ajeti getting on. We were chasing a goal all game. Found ourselves 1-0 down and desperate for a breakthrough. Lennon even took Griffiths off which gave us the chance to revert back to two up top later on in the game after stemming Rangers’ initial flurry.

Nope. In the end Lennon snubbed him. Tom Rogic, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Hatem Elhamed, and Scott Brown all came on. Even Shane Duffy was brought on too.

Albian Ajeti’s Celtic appearances becoming a rarity

Yet in a situation where we needed Ajeti most, Lennon didn’t trust him. A game, an occasion, and a scenario that all fitted a £5m striker’s introduction. But the manager decided that wasn’t the case.

That’s an absolutely massive concern. Ajeti has still only played 90 minutes once since arriving in the summer. That came in a 2-0 defeat to Ross County at Parkhead in the Betfred Cup.

Lennon has to explain what’s going on here. What was it about Ajeti that made him sign him in the first place? And what about him has changed since then to not want to include him at a time when we need his goals most.

Albian Ajeti scoring for Celtic has been a rare sight / (Photo by Steve Welsh/Pool via Getty Images)

The former Basel forward not getting on at Ibrox was a dreadful look. It was yet more ammunition for those who feel Lennon’s summer recruitment was atrocious. Ajeti is just one of a number of players we haven’t seen the best of since signing at the start of the season.

This is a subject Neil seems to have been avoiding for some time. He needs to come out and explain to the Celtic fans why these big-money signings are on the bench. We deserve clarity here and a look at where Ajeti stands in the squad.

Five goals in 21 appearances is not on. But no starts in any of our last seven games is even more of a concern. Hopefully, this is an issue that Lennon addresses in the near future. Saturday reflected dreadfully on both the player and manager.

In other news, we discuss why this latest Celtic decision has added unnecessary pressure to the club.