Celtic now have four forwards in their squad that cost more than the combined transfer fees that Rangers paid for their starting XI against Livingston at the weekend, an impressive show of strength but also one that highlights an issue for Neil Lennon.
Albian Ajeti has just arrived for around £4.5million, hoping to restore his battered reputation after a disastrous spell at West Ham United – he won’t be the first and he won’t be the last player to suffer at the hands of David Moyes’s tactics though and for a true reflection of the 23-year old’s capabilities a look at his time in the Swiss top flight gives a better idea of what to expect in green and white.
However, there is a “but”.
He has to play regular football.
Signing the Swiss international as a replacement for Odsonne Edouard has been dismissed already, so he is either going to be Celtic’s most expensive benchwarmer since Rafael Scheidt or Lennon is about to revert back to the formation that worked so well after the winter break last season.
There remains a major issue though, if he is to pair Ajeti and Edouard in a £14m dream team there has to be sacrifices elsewhere on the park and in defence would see the biggest “square peg in round hole” problem.
Should Lennon revert to 3-5-2 with Ajeti and Edouard leading the line?
Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed are more than capable deputies at centre-half on most weeks, however, they shouldn’t have to play as part of a back three, and if the Hoops gaffer can’t persuade Shane Duffy to head north then he should encourage Nick Hammond to get the next on the list through the door as quickly as possible.
Any failure to back the manager and provide him with the best possible resources to carry out his job would be a insult to loyal fans who have put their money where their mouths are in buying season tickets and new strips, despite being no closer to seeing their beloved team in the flesh anytime soon.