Celtic striker Jack Aitchison on 12-game barren run with Forest Green Rovers

By David Walton

January 27, 2020

Celtic striker Jack Aitchison’s loan spell at Forest Green Rovers started so promisingly, but he’s currently going through a bit of a goal drought.

The young striker burst onto the scene with the League Two club and was directly involved in six goals during his first 10 matches. Four of them were goals scored by himself with two others being ones he directly assisted.

Forest Green looked to be mounting a serious promotion push at the time, with Aitchison at the heart of it. Yet things seem to have taken a turn for both the club and the player.

Scotland’s Jack Aitchison (Photo by Lukasz Sobala/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

The League Two club have only won two of their last 11 games that’s seen them drop down to ninth in the division. Aitchison, however, has now gone 12 matches without managing to find the back of the net (Transfermarkt).

It’s a bit of a sorry run for the Scotland under-19 international. He was left on the bench in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Macclesfield too as an unused substitute.

Aitchison must find his form as Parkhead competition heats up

Aitchison is at Forest Green for the duration of the season, which gives him the opportunity to get himself back in form once again. To come back to Parkhead and make an impression, you get the feeling he needs to stand out more.

Getting back to the form that he was in at the start of his loan spell is key. Goals bring headlines, and Aitchison found that out at the end of October and start of November when he went on a small run of three goals in three games. He had pundits claiming that he was too good for League Two and that it was only a matter of time before he stepped up a level (Gloucester Live).

When he comes back in the summer, he’s going to see four strikers currently ahead of him. In addition to that, he’ll be in a battle with the likes of Jonathan Afolabi too. Competition is fierce, and that means making the most of loan spells are crucial.

Celtic’s Aitchison (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Aitchison has unfortunately only been able to do that for a short period. His form with Forest Green isn’t the kind that will earn him a spot in Neil Lennon’s pre-season training camp next year.

His focus must be on helping to reignite Forest Green’s promotion push, and getting himself as a high a profile as possible in that revival. Despite dropping down to ninth, they’re still only two points off the playoff positions. It really is all to play for.

Forest Green manager Mark Cooper is clearly willing to keep the faith in him too. Aitchison has started 12 of the club’s last 14 Championship matches (Transfermarkt). He’s getting the game-time, so it’s time to step it back up again.