ALBIAN AJETI scored a double against Ross County in the 3-0 win earlier this month and declared: “I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.”
Considering those headers took the Swiss striker’s tally to a mere eight goals since his £5million arrival from West Ham last summer there were more than a few who begged to differ.
Ajeti netted another in the 4-3 Europa League Group G loss to Real Betis in Seville and is still waiting to go into double figures for the club.
He should have rectified that situation against Dundee United yesterday when he contrived to fashion an x-certificate miss that should have made sure he did not get a wink of sleep last night.
DOWN AND OUT…Albian Ajeti reflects on a header that flew over the bar early in the Dundee United game.
With the score standing at 1-1, the Hoops had an early opportunity to regain the advantage when Filipe Jota arced in another inviting cross from the left. Liel Abada, the team’s earlier scorer, knocked the ball down to the frontman three yards from goal.
Keeper Benjemin Siegrist was out of position and helpless and the net was gaping. Remarkably, Ajeti managed to scoop the ball yards over the crossbar with the entire audience at Parkhead stunned into momentarily silence. It was a shocker from a player who was largely anonymous against the Tannadice side.
One former Celtic star who was not impressed by the latest offering from the misfiring hitman was legendary netminder Pat Bonner.
OVER…Liel Abada knocks the ball inside to Albian Ajeti.
AND OUT…Albian Ajeti amazingly skies the ball over the bar and blows the chance to make it 2-1.
SWISS MISS…Albian Ajeti wonders how he failed to hit the target for three yards.
The Republic of Ireland icon, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland Sportsound, said: “We’ve talked a lot about Albian Ajeti. If he’s not scoring goals, what else is he doing?
“He’s hoping that the ball’s going to come to him in a position, score a goal, and walk off saying: ‘Well, I’ve scored my goal, I’m okay. It’s up to the rest of them to do the other pieces of the work.’”
Despite his genuine lack of a goal threat, Ajeti will almost certainly lead the Hoops attack against Bayer Leverkusen in the second encounter in the Europa League Group G at Parkhead on Thursday night.
With top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi injured, Ange Postecoglou is bereft of alternatives.
Maybe Ajeti will take this opportunity to display the qualities that made him Celtic’s most expensive purchase last summer, costing £500,000 more than Greek keeper Vasilis Barkas.