West Ham United hit gold by shifting Albian Ajeti this summer, with the forward’s early-season blitz now turning into a total collapse with Scottish Premiership powerhouse Celtic.
Irons boss David Moyes marked Ajeti as one of the expensive duds signed by Manuel Pellegrini who were up for grabs early on this summer, as the Scottish coach sought to stamp his own mark in east London.
While Andriy Yarmolenko ultimately stayed and Felipe Anderson only joined FC Porto on a season-long loan in October, West Ham were able to find a suitor willing to buy Ajeti in Celtic, who agreed to pay £4.5million for the Switzerland international.
Ajeti had failed to score in any of his 12 Hammers appearances during a year at the London Stadium, having been signed from Basel for £8m after netting 21 goals and registering 11 assists in 43 games the season prior.
The 23-year-old penned a four-year contract at Parkhead upon his unveiling as a Celtic recruit, where boss Neil Lennon lauded Ajeti as being “strong, technically good, intelligent and a very good finisher”.
Lennon initially saw his words proven on the pitch with Ajeti striking five goals in his opening six Premiership appearances, seemingly taking to Scottish football like a duck to water.
Had Ajeti kept up his initial form, West Ham’s decision to sell the striker for near-on half what they paid just 12-months before could have haunted co-owner and chairman David Sullivan.
However, Sullivan’s decision to write off the losses and bite the bullet this summer has provento be a masterstroke as Ajeti’s early blitz has turned into a total collapse, with no goals in any competition since netting at home to Hibernian in September.
Ajeti has been a regular under Lennon this term with six starts in 10 Premiership appearances, two in four Europa League Group Stage outings and minutes in the SFA Cup plus the qualifying stages of the Champions League and Europa League.
His appearances total more minutes (685) than he ever achieved with West Ham (400) despite only joining Celtic in August, but Ajeti’s output north of the border will no longer cause any restless nights in east London.