Liverpool and ex-Celtic man Stephane Henchoz hails summer-signing Albian Ajeti
Former Liverpool and Celtic defender Stephane Henchoz has praised new Hoops signing Albian Ajeti after his summer move from London.
Ajeti has proved himself to be a roaring success in his early days at Parkhead. Already this season, the Swiss international has bagged five goals in six Premiership games.
Over the last two weeks, however, the striker has been nursing a knock as Hoops fans pray he’ll be ready to face Rangers next weekend. With Odsonne Edouard a massive doubt due to testing positive last week, Ajeti is the outstanding candidate to start on Saturday if fit.
And Henchoz, who only spent six months at Parkhead back in 2005, believes Celtic have signed well in his countryman.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Henchoz said: “Ajeti is a strong, powerful striker. And he’s also a goalscorer. I would say he’s a proper, penalty-box striker. He’s played under pressure before. At Basel, it’s similar to Rangers and Celtic in that there is a demand to win the league every year.
“I don’t think Swiss people were surprised that he didn’t play too many games in England. When you go from the Swiss League straight to the Premier League it’s always going to be difficult. That was always going to be a big challenge and maybe too big a jump for Ajeti at that time.
“Scoring for Basel in Switzerland is one thing. Playing in the Premier League against the top English sides is very different. That’s why going to Celtic is a good move for him. I think it can kick-start his career. He has had a good start and scored a few goals already. It’s too early to know probably if he’ll be that guy who scores 25 goals in a season. But can he do it? I think he can, he’s got what it takes.”
Early signs suggests goals is what Ajeti is all about
It’s not the case with every striker that goals is their main focus. For some, it can be all about their hold-up play, whilst for others it’s about putting themselves about or dropping deep and playing as more of a false nine.
However, you don’t get that with Ajeti. Instead, the Swiss forward is all about finding the back of the net. It is, by some distance, his most outstanding trait so far since he joined the Hoops.
He has shown signs of strength too and perhaps the odd burst of pace even if that isn’t his strongest asset. But he seems to pride himself on one thing – scoring and nothing more.
Celtic do have one of those already in Leigh Griffiths, whilst Edouard and Patryk Klimala appear to pride themselves on other unique factors about their game. But even so, Ajeti has still managed to bring a fresh energy and positivity to the club since signing from West Ham.
And that now takes us to Saturday’s clash against Rangers at Celtic Park. Let’s not kid ourselves – it’ll be Ajeti’s toughest game yet in a Celtic jersey should he start. But the rewards for scoring a goal or two will be significant, and he’ll be able to feel that amongst the support.
Let’s see if the Swiss star has what it takes to impress in this one. But it’s clear he’s got the approval of Liverpool’s UEFA Cup winning centre-back Henchoz.