ALBIAN AJETI needs a grand finale to a wretched season to save his Celtic career.
The Swiss striker has been a miss at Parkhead since his £5million arrival from West Ham in a summer that promised so much.
However, Ajeti has struggled to prove his worth and has scored only one goal in the past six months and six in total since he got the late winner as a substitute against Dundee United at Tannadice back on August 22.
He hasn’t figured since John Kennedy took over in an interim role following Neil Lennon’s departure in February a couple of days after the unacceptable 1-0 loss to Ross County in Dingwall. Ajeti didn’t even get a place on the substitutes’ bench for the match against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side last month.
Effectively, that unerlined he had slumped to fourth in the pecking order behind Odsonne Edouard, who started the game, and Leigh Griffiths, who made a cameo appearance, and Patryk Klimala who remained on stand-by.
IN FOR THE KILL…Albian Ajeti prepares to score Celtic’s fourth goal in the 4-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in February.
The 24-year-old’s fellow-countryman Ramon Vega, who had a brief stint at Parkhead during the Martin O’Neill reign, reckons it is now or never for the Switzerland international to prove he has a future in Glasgow.
Vega said: “When we talked about Ajeti at the start of the season, he had not been a full-time or regular player at West Ham.
“The form in Basle was there, but having not played much in England, it was time for him to show again what he had done in Switzerland.
“He has missed the opportunity so far to show himself as the one who is able to be the main striker for the club.
“He now has to do it. He has to perform because that is the situation that he has placed himself into. If he does that, he can still justify that he is good enough for Celtic.
CHEERS…Scott Brown congratulates Albian Ajeti on his sixth goal for Celtic since August.
“It will be difficult for him, but I hope that he can do it and it is going to take an enormous effort. At this moment, it doesn’t seem to be going in his direction and he has to change that.”
Vega, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “This is now a vital time for everyone. Winning the league has gone, there’s a gap to be bridged and it’s now about the motivations until the end of the season and what is the future going to look like.
“I’m sure the squad is being analysed as regards who will be kept, who are they going to get, who will be going.
“Things are going to change at the club and Ajeti has a chance now to show he should stay. There is a chance for him to build momentum and show himself. To show why he was bought.
“To push himself into the team, to show he can do it. To show the character and the ability to fight his way back. Will it happen? I don’t know. I can’t say yes or no as it’s not down to me. It’s down to him. He needs to do it.”