Premier League

Pundit View: Nicholas, Celtic don’t need West Ham struggling striker

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Albian Ajeti arrived in East London for £8m in the summer in the shadow of £45m record signing Sebastien Haller, and he has never really emerged. Despite being very accomplished in his native Swiss Super Lig, where he won the title on three occasions with FC Basel, along with a Swiss cup, he has not acclimatised to the Premier League, failing to start a league match in his debut campaign.

His stuttering form has led to speculation that the forward will join Celtic this summer. Former Hoops player Charlie Nicholas has criticised the Celtic manager and expressed confusion as to why the West Ham player is required in Glasgow.

What did he say?

Writing in his Express column, via the Daily Record, Nicholas said: “The champions [Celtic] were poor at Kilmarnock on Sunday, but they can go into the transfer market. If Odsonne Edouard stays, he is the first-choice striker.

“That’s why I don’t get the big interest in Albian Ajeti and Steven Fletcher. Are they saying Leigh Griffiths’ time up? If not, then surely, they have more than enough cover for Edouard with Griffiths and Patryk Klimala.

“Lennon doesn’t need a 33-year-old striker or a West Ham player who can’t make up his mind if he wants to sign full-time or go for a loan deal,” the former Arsenal player suggested.

Fresh start

Ajeti has not enjoyed any success whatsoever at the London Stadium during his first Premier League season. The Swiss international did not start a single topflight match and made a meagre nine substitute appearances, totalling a minuscule 132 minutes of on-pitch action, which did not yield a single goal.

A switch away for the 23-year-old may be precisely what he needs to restore his confidence, and West Ham should be keen to either move the striker on permanently or fix his teething problems in the Premier League.

Ajeti is still only 23 and could yet come good in London after a loan spell, though due to his disparaging comments when the Scot handed Ajeti his first West Ham start, David Moyes may have already lost faith in the striker.

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