As Celtic’s Albian Ajeti claimed a ball from Scott Brown, turned his man and then buried an opportunity last Tuesday, he looked every bit a £4.5m player.
Truth be told, that’s very rarely been the case for the striker since he signed from West Ham last summer.
Though, just as he finds his shooting boots again, he’s been ruled out of this weekend’s clash by the dreaded Scottish FA.
Ajeti felt contact from Kilmarnock goalkeeper Colin Doyle and went down inside the area. Odsonne Edouard stepped up and slammed home the resulting spot-kick. However, the Scottish FA have now retrospectively banned the Swiss striker after a panel watched back the footage.
They believe that the forward conned referee Kevin Clancy in the way he fell to the ground. Celtic sources are reportedly astonished by the turn of events and for Neil Lennon, he is also aggrieved.
Did Ajeti deserve his suspension?
He reacted to the news by saying: “The keeper has made contact, he has gone down, the referee has given a penalty. I don’t see any simulation. Simulation is where there is no contact. There is obvious contact, you can see that quite clearly.”
The Hoops have appealed against the ban and will fight his cause in a hearing next Monday. However, he will miss their clash with Motherwell this afternoon.
It leaves Lennon with quite the dilemma. Ajeti earned a rare start on Tuesday and took it with hands. He was particularly lively and not only did he win the penalty, but he scored a tremendous fourth for Celtic.
Thus, it will represent a hefty blow for the Bhoys as they strive to bridge the gap to Rangers. The manager will now have to decide whether to bring Leigh Griffiths back into the fray or play Edouard up top on his own.
Lennon has fluttered between both systems in recent weeks. Griffiths and Edouard struck up a solid partnership in the 2-0 win over Hamilton – both scoring – but the former played just 45 minutes when they suffered defeat to St Mirren.
The Scot was on the bench when Celtic beat Killie but didn’t play any part in the game. Whether he returns to the starting XI is firmly in Lennon’s hands. He now has a big decision to make.
AND in other news, £7m Celtic brute could become a real star if Desmond hires “very demanding” 62 y/o…