Ever since Celtic started utilising the 4-4-2 diamond formation in December, there has been an advancement of attacking potency and chance creation within the side. Predominantly, the driving factor behind this improvement has been the deployment of two strikers as opposed to Neil Lennon opting for a lone figure to lead the line.
Intriguingly, this tactical alteration could offer encouragement to Albian Ajeti moving into the second half of the season as he looks to force his way back into the starting eleven.
The Swiss striker has endured mixed fortunes at Parkhead thus far after making a £5 million move from West Ham United last summer. Initially, his predatory instincts in front of goal saw him register 5 goals and 1 assist in his first 6 Scottish Premiership games and at one point he was averaging a goal every 47 minutes.
However, injuries coupled with fitness issues have seen the 23-year-old restricted to mainly substitute appearances in recent months. Now is the perfect time to grant the Swiss international an opportunity to work his way back to full fitness.
It is time for Celtic to give Albian Ajeti another chance
Celtic face an unprecedented backlog of fixtures due to match postponements sustained earlier in the campaign. Although counterpart Leigh Griffiths has been in relatively good form since his return, he will undeniably need rest at some points over the next few months.
Strategically, Ajeti is therefore best placed to come into the side when this inevitability takes place due to more than one reason.
In season 2018-19 for FC Basel he attained an outstanding 23 goals and 11 assists in 43 appearances. Why is this season so important you ask? You guessed it, he played within a 4-4-2. He is already accustomed to the way the Celtic currently set up and has even excelled within this system previously.
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This could prove hugely beneficial to Neil Lennon, who looking at a congested run of games. Additionally, all the forward’s goals at the club have come within a line up that contains two strikers.
Celtic will likely look to play with two strikers for the remainder of the season, feasibly meaning there could be plenty openings for Ajeti to force his way into proceedings long-term.
Finally, the Hoops expected goals since changing from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2 diamond has significantly expanded from 1.95 to 2.6 per game. Simply put, they are creating far more chances with two strikers and will score more goals as a result.
Provided Ajeti can keep himself fit, there is scope for him to become a key player for the club moving forward and shed off the tag of ‘big money flop’ that has been attached to his name.