Albian Ajeti has been compared to former Hoops star Gary Hooper by his gaffer and if all goes well, the Swiss international could prove to be a sensational signing by Neil Lennon and the Parkhead recruitment team.
However, following a disappointing spell in the Premier League, Ajeti’s move to Celtic is very much a make-or-break transfer and Noel Whelan, speaking to Football Insider, believes that goals are the only statistic that matters when his performances are being judged.
So what has Whelan said?
When asked to reflect on the 23-year old’s decision to head to Scottish football to rejuvenate his career, he said:
“No disrespect to the Scottish Premiership, but it’s a different level of quality you’re going to be coming up against in England.
“You’re not going to be coming up against your international defenders like he was when he signed for West Ham. It’s not worked out for him in England.
“He’ll find Scottish football different in many ways. Some like to go long, it’s a little bit more robust. But if he doesn’t score goals for Celtic in that league, there’s a real issue.
“With the quality of players Celtic have at their disposal, if you want to find a new lease of life and be at a very good football club playing Champions League football, you have to be scoring or there is a real problem. I’m hoping that his turns out to be a very good move for player and club.”
So is Whelan correct?
Short of stating the obvious, of course he is, if Ajeti doesn’t score goals, the £5million transfer fee will begin to depreciate pretty quickly but more importantly it will increase the pressure on those already in the squad to produce the goods.
Ajeti looks to have been signed to partner Odsonne Edouard, rather than replace him, so he will have plenty of opportunities created for him in a team that is known for scoring goals.
Will Ajeti be a hit in Scotland?
His time in the Premier League was a failure, but he wasn’t given a great deal of opportunity to shine with just 130 minutes, his form in the Swiss Premier League gives a more accurate indication of what he is capable of and with 45 goals and 21 assists in 105 appearances, Celtic fans needn’t concern themselves with the fears of Whelan.