Why you should expect a Celtic 2021 renaissance for Albian Ajeti

By David Walton

December 25, 2020

So as Celtic get set to enter 2021, there are plenty at the club who’ll be hoping for a more productive year.

For some that will come to fruition, for others it won’t. But it’s Christmas! So let’s take a look at a player I’m personally expecting to have a massive breakthrough from the new year onwards who hasn’t lit things up this year.

That man is Albian Ajeti.

Ajeti’s start at Parkhead was pretty surreal. He joined in the summer in a reported £5million deal from West Ham United (Sky Sports). To say he was expensive is perhaps an understatement. Celtic seriously splashed out on him.

And for the first two months or so it looked like a seriously shrewd investment. Ajeti scored five goals in his first six Premiership games. He bagged a vital winner at Tannadice against Dundee United, before more goals against the likes of Motherwell, Ross County, Livingston, and Hibernian respectively.

He was on fire, but then a setback occurred. He injured his hamstring scoring that goal against Hibs in September. Still, three months later, that goal is Ajeti’s latest one.

This was already a blow considering the Swiss was already lacking in fitness. He had yet to play 90 minutes (and still to this day he’s only managed that once at Celtic). This was due to the fact he hadn’t had a proper pre-season with West Ham.

Ajeti has struggled badly at Celtic

And since then nothing has gone right for Albian. He’s been dropped to the bench ever since the 2-0 loss to County in the Betfred Cup – his seventh consecutive blank in the starting XI (Transfermarkt).

He looks a touch overweight, and is only seeing cameo appearances these days. But you also have to remember that Ajeti’s form only took a dip when Celtic’s did. Once results started getting tough, Ajeti hasn’t been the same.

In recent times, the Hoops have managed four consecutive wins. Our form is starting to return. More importantly, we’re creating chances galore again after we should’ve netted five or six against County on Wednesday night.

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti / (Photo by Steve Welsh/Pool via Getty Images)

The chances are there again. And what Ajeti has proven in the past is that he’s a penalty box striker. He thrives on big chances. We’ve questioned in the past why Lennon has left him out of matchday squads. But he was back in against the Staggies.

Lennon will be itching to get the best out of his £5m signing. If he doesn’t, it’s only more ammunition for his critics to launch at him. So Ajeti will undoubtedly get chances as he did against County for 10 minutes at the weekend.

This is a massive opportunity for him to reignite his career at Parkhead. With Patryk Klimala still not getting many opportunities whilst Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard have yet to shoot into form, Ajeti will play.

With Celtic’s general play improving and some of our main creative players returning to form, Ajeti could get his spark from that. Expect a big 2021 from him – he’s certainly got the ability.