The 2 Celtic careers that now look all but over after recent squad decisions from Ange

By David Walton

November 9, 2021

It looks as though Albian Ajeti and Vasilis Barkas can now say goodbye to their respective Celtic careers.

Whilst neither man has been playing regularly this season, they have at least been sniffing around some matchday squads. The 2020 summer signings have both been major disappointments since arriving at Parkhead for big money.

This season, Ange Postecoglou has been reluctant to invest his faith in either of them. Barkas let him down badly in the UCL qualifier against Midtjylland at Parkhead before being bombed out of the team. Ajeti, meanwhile, has fortuitously played 13 times this term. He only has 3 goals to his name.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

So they did have opportunities to make an impact. The fact is, however, that they simply failed to do so.

Over the last 3 matchday squads, both players have been dropped entirely. With the returns of James Forrest and Mikey Johnston, for example, the Celtic boss has had to make room for them.

Whilst Barkas had been regularly dropped from league squads in recent weeks regardless, he was also interestingly dropped from the UEL squad against Ferencvaros in Hungary. He had previously featured in every Euro squad beforehand.

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Celtic don’t need either Vasilis Barkas or Albian Ajeti

As the January transfer window closes in, it’s becoming clear where both players stand. Barkas is now 3rd choice behind Joe Hart and Scott Bain. He may even be behind Conor Hazard in the pecking order too, with the Northern Irishman also regularly out of squads.

As for Ajeti, he’s another who’s 3rd choice in a 1-striker system. Ange has been rotating Kyogo with Giorgos Giakoumakis in recent weeks, and it’s clear he doesn’t see any use for the struggling Swiss forward.

It’s damning that they’re left out so regularly that it feels as though there’s little need for them. That says a lot about where they currently stand amongst the rest of the first-team squad.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Make no mistake, there’s no revival opportunities left for them either. On what planet does Barkas get back into the Celtic squad at this rate? Where does the next chance truly arrive for Ajeti? It’s pie in the sky stuff to suggest there’s any chance of a comeback or renaissance here.

Both men will be sold in January if Celtic can attract a bidder. Given their international status and the reputation both men have had in the past, that will hopefully work in their favour.

But Ange dropping them from all matchday squads tells its own story. They simply aren’t needed here anymore.

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