Jack Aitchison’s goals with Forest Green Rovers have certainly turned some heads, and the player himself has a big Celtic vision.
It’s been a successful loan stint so far with the League Two side. He has four goals to his name including a fine derby strike against Cheltenham Town on Saturday. Gloucestershire Live would state that he’s been a “revelation” and that he likely won’t be playing at League Two level for long.
For the first time in his career, Aitchison is being praised for his form in senior football. It’s a massive step up for him from the youth game – something he’s clearly outgrown at this stage.
But speaking to the Scottish Sun, Aitchison touched on the idea of breaking into the first-team next season.
“Some people think I’m 23 or 24. I’m lucky enough to have had a couple of first-team appearances at Celtic. It’s all about patience now.
“I’ve got this season and next left on my contract at Celtic. I know Celtic have watched me in some games. Forest Green send reports of my training and my games to Celtic so they can analyse it.
“Hopefully I can come back and get involved with the first team like they have. I watch Celtic games on TV and speak to my friends there. I still play them on FIFA, and beat Ewan Henderson as usual!”
Is Aitchison really first-team ready for Celtic?
Aitchison certainly has some raw talent. For the first time in his career, that’s finally being developed in the senior game.
But scoring some goals in League Two is a far cry from leading the line for Celtic. Aitchison has proven he’s too good for the level he’s currently at. According to the Sun, we also have the option to bring him back to Parkhead in January.
And you have to wonder whether that would be worth doing in order to try and find him a move to a higher level. Of course, there’s something in a player’s happiness at a club too. It could be the case that Aitchison gets pulled from Forest Green and it turns out to be the worst decision we could make for him.
But whatever happens, coming back and going straight into the first-team next season still feels optimistic. If Celtic can get him a move to another Premiership club, we could truly evaluate where he is from there.
He can only gain that kind of move by continuing to impress with Forest Green. Plenty of Premiership clubs shop in the market that Aitchison is competing in. If his goal return continues at its current rate, there will surely be admirers in Scotland.
That’s what seems like the next logical step for the striker. Coming straight into the team after a loan stint at Forest Green, however, doesn’t feel likely. Another season of impressing at a higher level should be required.