Celtic strikers Patryk Klimala and Albian Ajeti praised by Neil McCann

By David Walton

August 31, 2020

Patryk Klimala and Albian Ajeti have received praise from an unlikely source – ex-Rangers man Neil McCann.

The strike duo made a big impact against Motherwell yesterday as the Hoops ended up cruising to a 3-0 success against Stephen Robinson’s side at Parkhead.

However, that only came after a first half in which Neil Lennon again failed to field a centre-forward, replicating his decision not to play one against Ferencvaros last Wednesday.

Albian Ajeti celebrates vs Motherwell (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yet the game changed after Klimala’s introduction at half-time. Ajeti came on later to get his name on the scoresheet, and McCann, who’s anything but a Celtic cheerleader, told BBC Sportsound that he was impressed by both men.

“I thought Klimala did some nice things. He held the ball up, darted down the sides of centre-backs and in between the full-backs. He had a chance – he’ll be really disappointed when he thinks about it because it was a 100% chance.

“Maybe when he gets more match sharpness that ends up in the back of the net, but Ajeti’s dispatch of his chance was top drawer. It was a great touch and absolutely buried it with aplomb.

“There are no doubts Celtic deserved it (the 3-0 win).”

Difficult not to get carried away

Celtic’s options in the final third is a real source of optimism for the supporters.

It sounds a bit premature and perhaps even naive to get excited not even a week after being bundled out of the Champions League by a team from Hungary. But you can’t just sit and ignore what we watched in the second half yesterday.

The jury of course remains out on Klimala. His touch appears to be improving, and his movement played a key role in goals number two and three. But he still needs to find that finishing touch if he wants to be a regular pick in Lennon’s team.

Patryk Klimala scores against Hamilton (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ajeti just looks a different kettle of fish. As well as his own strong hold-up play, he looks like a natural finisher. Granted, his goal yesterday was one he should’ve netted, but it was the style with which he buried it that will have impressed the Celtic supporters.

To have even the likes of McCann acknowledging how well both men done shows you how much they changed the game.

Klimala will now go away with the Poland under-21s whilst Ajeti heads off with the Switzerland national team. Their lack of fitness will likely mean both play bit-part roles, but it’ll be intriguing to see how they get on at international level in any case.

In other news, we’ve taken a look at why missing out on a Europa League bye isn’t a negative for Celtic.