CELTIC’S £5million misfit Albian Ajeti has been axed by Switzerland for the World Cup double-header against Italy and Lithuania.
The frontman, who has scored a mere nine goals since his big-money arrival from West Ham last summer, had been recalled to the previous international pool last month, but has been overlooked on this occasion.
It’s the latest setback for Ajeti who claimed his third goal of the campaign in the 4-3 Europa League Group G loss against Real Betis in Seville on September 16 which added to the double in the 3-0 win over Ross County five days earlier.
UPS AND DOWNS…Albian Ajeti rues a miss against Dundee United in the 1-1 draw and, below, rises to the occasion as he scores one of his double against Ross County in the 3-0 victory.
The shot-shy forward has tumbled down the pecking order at Parkhead with Greek Giorgos Giakoumakis, who cost half the Swiss player’s fee when he arrived from Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo, taking his place in the stand-by squad behind main man Kyogo Furuhashi.
Ajeti last started a game two months ago and has had to be content with rare appearances as a substitute since then.
Swiss chief Murat Yakin, in a report in the Daily Record, said: “I look at each player’s individual performances and situation before I decide to name my squad.
“And that’s why in this instance I have chosen not to include Albian Ajeti.”
The attacker was an unused substitute last month in his nation’s wins over Northern Ireland and Lithuania.
GREEK TRAGEDY…Vasilis Barkas blunders to allow FC Midtjylland a crucial leveller in the 1-1 Champions League qualifier at Parkhead in July. The £4.5million keeper has not figured in a competitive game since.
There has been speculation there could be a January exit for Ajeti, who is under contract until June 2024 and was Neil Lennon’s biggest signing just ahead of £4.5million keeper Vasilis Barkas last summer as he put his squad together for the ill-fated bid for a tenth successive title.
The Greek netminder could also be on his way in the next transfer window and couldn’t even get a place alongside Scott Bain as a stand-by shotstopper to Joe Hart ahead on Thursday’s 3-2 Europa League Group G victory over Ferencvaros in Budapest.
Instead, Postecoglou brought in 18-year-old Toby Oluwayemi, who was signed from the Spurs Youth Academy in February 2019.