DIXIE DEANS rattled in 124 goals in 184 games for Celtic to prove he knows something about putting the ball in the opposition’s net.
The former Hoops hitman, who was signed by Jock Stein for £22,000 from Motherwell in 1971, has been putting Neil Lennon’s new frontmen, Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala, under the spotlight since the start of the season.
Deans, now 74, admitted it is too early to make a complete judgement on the duo, but he has high hopes for the forwards as his old club bid for a tenth successive crown to make history once again.
Ajeti, who cost £5million from West Ham in the summer, has thumped in two winners – against Dundee United and Livingston – on his way to claiming four goals in five appearances.
Former Scotland international Deans, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “People are telling me Ajeti is this and he’s that, that he’s great.
“I’ve not seen all of his games, I’ll admit. But what I have seen of him so far I think he’s an okay player.
“In fairness, Ajeti has been scoring goals and, let’s be honest, that’s the bottom line if you’re a Celtic striker.
“But I’m not seeing a great player at the moment. Ajeti’s not been here for long, though, and you have to give him credit for getting the goals he has early into his time at the club. That takes pressure off him.
“I joined Celtic from Motherwell and was suspended for a few weeks. But, fortunately, I managed to get goals when I started playing and I never looked back.
“When I eventually got the jersey I did the business and did well for the club in my five years.
“I was cocky back then. I thought I’d always make it at Celtic. It’s fair to say that I was a confident person!.”
Deans, who scored two hat-tricks against Hibs in domestic Cup Finals, continued: “Ajeti’s a decent player and a good striker, but I think we need to see what he does over the whole season before we start raving about him. Hopefully, his best is still to come.
“Ajeti’s still settling in and it’s a promising start, but I want to see more from him.
“You have to give him time and hopefully he’ll be playing every week.
“Reputations are made at Celtic when you do it in the big games in Europe or particularly against Rangers. That’s when you show it. That’s what it’s all about and, hopefully, Ajeti will.
“There’s no point in being a brilliant player as a striker, but not being able to put the ball in the net. Ajeti’s at least putting the ball in the net. Let’s see how his game develops.
“As a Celtic striker, all you need to do to keep the fans happy is put the ball in the net.”
Deans also looked at Czech frontman Klimala who has scored only two goals in his 12 outings since arriving in the January transfer window.
He added: “I like Klimala. I know he’s not scored as many goals, but there’s something about him. He’ll eventually do the business for Celtic.
“He puts himself about and he works hard. I like that.
“But, listen, it’s only my opinion. Let’s see what happens with him and Ajeti.
“Bottom line is I want every player to be successful at Celtic.”