To suggest Albian Ajeti has had a torrid few years would be putting it lightly. The Celtic striker was a hero in Switzerland but he has been nothing short of abject for nearly two years now.
After signing for West Ham from Basel, he played on just 12 occasions and failed to score a solitary goal.
For a forward who had managed 21 strikes in 43 outings during the 2018/19 season, it was rather remarkable that he’d failed so badly.
However, since a £5m move to Parkhead, he has also been pretty dismal. Ajeti initially hit the ground running with five goals in his first ten outings but he has only found the net once since September.
A mini-revival looked as though it may take place towards the back end of Neil Lennon’s tenure. He fielded the Swiss attacker against Kilmarnock and not only did he win a penalty, but he also scored a quite brilliant strike after turning and then firing past the goalkeeper.
Unfortunately, Ajeti hasn’t been able to capitalise on that moment. In fact, he’s not played a single minute of football since John Kennedy was placed in interim charge and then he was left out of the entire matchday squad for the Old Firm derby.
It would appear that the writing is on the wall for Ajeti, a player who Alan Hutton described as “anonymous” a few months ago.
If there was ever a word to describe the 24-year-old’s last few years, it would be that. He has been hung out to dry by a number of managers now and clearly isn’t good enough.
With his absence in mind, the £16k-per-week earner is now surely heading for the exit door. Lennon didn’t give him many opportunities and now he can’t even get in the squad.
We shouldn’t be too surprised though. After being an unused substitute against Aberdeen a few weeks ago, Noel Whelan claimed he could be leaving: “It is damning for Ajeti’s future”, he told Football Insider. “It seems as if he won’t be at the club next year,” Whelan concluded.
Ajeti has unfortunately been attracting criticism all season. Frank McAvennie suggested the striker doesn’t look as though he cares whether he plays after unleashing the following attack:
“I would love to have been in the room with whoever justified paying £5m for him. How can you justify spending £5m on a player like that, a player who strolled about at West Ham and is now doing the same at Celtic?”
Indeed, with just the six Celtic strikes to his name, he has nearly cost the Bhoys £1m per goal. On that evidence, you can certainly see why the hierarchy may look to cash in.