Albian Ajeti is on the brink of being officially announced as a Celtic player, Sky Sports have reported on Wednesday night.
Celtic are still working to finalising the terms of the deal according to the report, potentially turning it into an outright permanent move rather than a loan-to-buy switch.
£5m is the quoted price for the player, who is said to have completed his medical.
There’s no getting around the fact Ajeti struggled at West Ham during the 2019/20 season, making most of his 12 appearances for the club from the bench and failing to score a single goal.
However, it’s the player’s history at Swiss side Basel that should be cause for hope, with many parallels to Mohamed Elyounoussi’s career prior to his Celtic move.
The two attackers actually played together for a time in Switzerland, with Elyounoussi assisting four of Ajeti’s goals in the 2017/18 season.
Those came in fixtures against FC Thun, FC Lugano, Young Boys and St Gallen (Transfermarkt).
A look at the official Young Boys YouTube channel throws up highlights of Ajeti’s left-footed first-time strike in that match, one of 43 he scored in total for his old club.
Elyounoussi skips away from his opposition on the counter-attack, exposing their defensive line before crossing cooly for Ajeti to clinically finish on the run.
You can watch the footage on the Swiss side’s YouTube channel, starting at 0:53, below or via this link.
Elyounoussi was also on target that day, scoring Basel’s first, with Ajeti involved in the goal albeit not with a direct assist.
It’s a small sign that the players could be comfortable together from the start at Celtic, boosting Neil Lennon’s attacking options and providing quality competition for Odsonne Edouard.
His arrival could also allow Lennon to experiment with new tactical systems or revert to a 3-5-2 that was so successful after the winter break last season.
I’m looking forward to seeing the two players being reunited at Celtic Park.