There's a gaping hole in the Celtic team that Albian Ajeti could be perfect for

By David Walton

July 12, 2021

Albian Ajeti has started his first-ever Celtic pre-season off in the best way possible.

Two games against Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic. Two very fine goals to his name too, with Saturday’s header exactly what we thought we were going to be getting from Ajeti last season.

It’s a fresh start for everyone at Celtic Park after a season to forget last term. Ajeti was one of several signings who cost Celtic plenty but provided no reward. Albian would only go on to score six goals all season, bagging 30 appearances in the process [Transfermarkt].

The issue being that Ajeti never appeared to be up to speed fitness-wise. Despite a strong goalscoring start to his Celtic career, a small injury halted his momentum. He failed to take the chances he was given, but Neil Lennon barely gave him a run of games.

If Ajeti wasn’t scoring then he wasn’t contributing. Therefore, it felt like whenever he failed to score in a match he was often discarded. A run of games was too difficult to come by.

Albian Ajeti looking menacing in Celtic pre-season campaign

It’s interesting to note how much leaner he looks since coming back for pre-season this time around. He’s clearly used the summer break to get back into shape – exactly the kind of determination that Ange Postecoglou will want from his players.

When Ajeti signed last summer he hadn’t even begun pre-season training with West Ham. He was robbed of the chance of getting up to speed with his team-mates and using pre-season to build an understanding with them. As a centre-forward, that’s an important part of his game.

This term, however, he’s looking as though he’s in a confident mood. Both of his goals against Wednesday and Charlton were well taken. He’ll be looking to make it three from three against Bristol City on Wednesday too.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, Ajeti will have his eyes fixated on the UEFA Champions League qualifier against Midtjylland. As things stand, does he seriously deserve to miss out?

It’s important this season that hard work is indeed rewarded. There’s a gap in the Celtic team when it comes to our strikeforce. Outside of Odsonne Edouard, we have nothing left at the moment. Ajeti making a comeback would be a massive boost for the football club.

You can see how much effort Ajeti has put into getting himself into shape and impressing the manager. Backing that up with a couple of goals will have done his case no harm at all either.

But it shouldn’t be overly surprising. Pre-season has given Ajeti what he didn’t have last season. He’s been training with the first-team squad since their return to Lennoxtown last month. Fingers crossed it can prove to be the making of him.

In other news: CELTIC need to solve the Ryan Christie issue quickly