Of all of the things to be discussed since Scottish football’s lockdown, Jack Aitchison’s future has yet to be seriously spoken about.
Aitchison became Celtic’s youngest-ever goalscorer back in 2016 when he fired in a goal on his debut against Motherwell. He was only 16 years and 71 days old at the time.
However, fast forward four years and the forward hasn’t managed to get any closer to the first-team. Fruitless spells at Dumbarton and Alloa on loan have come and gone.
Yet, over the past year, Aitchison has finally been getting regular first-team football with League Two side Forest Green Rovers. In his 32 appearances with Forest Green, Aitchison has managed to bag seven goals and six assists (Transfermarkt). It’s been, by far, his most productive campaign in senior football.
But his contract at Parkhead expires in the summer of 2021. That means, come the summer, there’ll only be 12 months remaining on his current contract (Transfermarkt).
Has Aitchison done enough as it stands to earn a new deal?
Even though it’s been a better season for Aitchison than he’s been used to, he’s still nowhere near Celtic’s starting XI.
Ahead of him in the pecking order as things stand is Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths, Patryk Klimala, and Vakoun Bayo respectively. That’s not even mentioning the likes of Jonathan Afolabi, who’s currently out on loan with Dunfermline Athletic.
Celtic have a big decision to make soon on whether Aitchison still has the potential to compete at that level. Time is running out for us to continuously say that he’s “one for the future”. The player himself must also be looking for some security with regards to his long-term future too.
Make no mistake – Aitchison will find a club elsewhere if Celtic do let him go. The youngster has received some rave reviews during his time in League Two. Gloucestershire Live labeled him “Amazing Aitchison” back in November, and claimed that this will surely be the last time he plays at League Two level.
It could all depend on what kind of pre-season Aitchison has in Glasgow before a decision is made on his future. After all, a few goals in training and friendly matches before the new campaign begins could work wonders for him.
But a big decision is going to need to be made somewhere down the line. We’re getting to the make or break point with the young centre-forward.