Unfairly treated Albian Ajeti deserves second chance at Celtic next season; still has plenty to offer

By Sean Clifford

March 15, 2021

After a blistering start to his Celtic career scoring five goals in his first six Scottish Premiership games, Albian Ajeti has endured an increasingly frustrating time of things since making the move to Glasgow from West Ham United last summer for £5 million.

Only scoring once since last September, the jury is still firmly out on the Switzerland international for fans and pundits alike. Despite this, circumstantial evaluation shows that the 24-year-old has not had a fair crack of the whip at Celtic Park.

In a campaign where very few players have performed on a consistent basis, it would be hard to argue against giving someone of his pedigree a second chance in 2021/22 under a new manager.

Being used as a substitute on 14 occasions in the 2020/21 campaign incorporating all competitions, coupled with the consistent rotation of creative players under previous manager Neil Lennon, has thus far hampered his chances of forging fruitful attacking partnerships with his fellow team-mates.

Celtic have been ill tactical fit for Albian Ajeti

Ajeti is a penalty box striker who relies on service into the box, the Hoops utilisation of the 4-4-2 diamond formation on first glance may seem like the ideal platform for someone of his profile to excel.

However, a distinct lack of width in the current system means that Celtic are more likely to attempt to play their way into the 18-yard-zone, as opposed to crossing balls in regularly. Consequentially, this leads fellow striking counterpart Odsonne Edouard to drop deep to get involved with build-up play.

As a result of this, Ajeti is left isolated in the box and is crowded out by at least one if not two of the opposition central defenders making it difficult for him to sniff out chances. In a nutshell, his primary functions ultimately do not fit the present tactical approach Celtic adopt.

Albian Ajeti in action for Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Feasibly, under a new boss he could still fulfil the promise his hefty price tag signified when he signed for the Hoops should he be utilised correctly.

Having already demonstrated his considerable goal-scoring prowess in 2018/19 for Basel registering 21 goals in 43 appearances, Celtic should look to structure the team around his needs moving forward.

In other news, 5 realistic out-of-contract players who should be of interest to Celtic.