To suggest Celtic’s recruitment in the last few years has been shoddy would be putting things lightly.
The Hoops have got a lot of their transfers wrong and on that basis, it’s easy to see why they’ve relinquished their grasp on the SPFL title.
Last term they signed the likes of Boli Bolingoli, Hatem Elhamed, Moritz Bauer and Patryk Klimala.
Of those players signed in 2019/20, only one of them is currently in and around the Celtic squad; Klimala.
Bolingoli is out on loan while Elhamed has gone back to Israel. As for Bauer, he never stood a chance of having his loan spell extended in Glasgow.
Nick Hammond seemingly didn’t learn a year on. Once again, their movements in the transfer market left plenty to be desired.
They signed Vasilis Barkas for a fee of £4.5m, a player who has made a number of individual mistakes since putting pen to paper. To make matters worse, he isn’t even their number one goalkeeper at the moment.
Unfortunately, they also decided to spend £5m on Albian Ajeti; a transfer that now looks nothing short of disastrous.
Ajeti has had a poor few seasons but at the age of 24, still has plenty of potential. After all, you don’t score 21 goals in one season for European regulars Basel without having a bit of quality.
A move to West Ham followed that but he failed to score in 12 appearances. It’s not got much better for the Swiss forward since joining Celtic.
The striker has played 19 matches in the SPFL but has only scored six times. That means that Ajeti has cost Dermot Desmond nearly a whopping £1m per goal since signing. To be precise, he has cost £833k per goal.
Add his £13.5k-per-week wages into the equation and that’s a further £432k for the 32 weeks he’s been at Parkhead.
The money spent is made all the more frustrating by the small glimpses of quality we’ve seen from him. Ajeti scored five goals in his opening ten matches and netted a sensational strike against Kilmarnock in February.
Scott Brown played a long ball forward which was elegantly taken down by the Switzerland international. He was able to turn before firing the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
It was a strike worthy of a £5m player, but his form for large parts of the season hasn’t dictated that.
Ajeti’s goal against Killie was his first since September, a run stretching across 14 matches. Coincidentally, the former West Ham man hasn’t scored since that match.
Speaking in October, Alan Hutton suggested the attacker had been “anonymous” and that he was becoming a big problem for the management team. You can’t say the former defender doesn’t have a point.
Ajeti will desperately need to improve if he’s still at Paradise next term.