McLeish delivers Ajeti verdict after Celtic win v Kilmarnock

Albian Ajeti’s confidence will be “through the roof” after returning to the starting XI for Celtic, according to Alex McLeish.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers and Scotland boss admitted the summer signing has had a tough time at Parkhead in recent months and suggested Neil Lennon’s show of faith will have done wonders for the 23-year-old.

As quoted by the Glasgow Times earlier this week, Ajeti admitted he had been struggling “for months” with fitness issues but that he was feeling back to his normal self in Glasgow.

The Switzerland international, who cost Celtic £5million from West Ham last year, returned to the starting XI in midweek against Kilmarnock and marked his comeback with his first goal since September.

He retained his place in the 2-1 win against Motherwell on Saturday but was unable to find the back of the net once again before being replaced by Leigh Griffiths after 67 minutes.

McLeish believes Neil Lennon has found a system to get the best out of the likes of Ajeti and suggested the striker would be buzzing with confidence after settling back into the side.

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He made a statement himself, didn’t he, that he was beginning to settle now and again, you and I have spoken about how difficult it can be to settle at clubs with massive expectations,” McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge. 

“It’s not easy to come in there, at start of the season we said: Okay, Neil Lennon is missing a couple of players,’ he brought Duffy in and he could go and get them goals at the other end with his presence and he started off like that.

“Ajeti, others as well, Elyounoussi, we said that they didn’t really hit the ground running and it seems Neil Lennon has found a wee system to let all these guys excel.

“Against Kilmarnock was the best they’ve played in weeks and no doubt Ajeti’s confidence went from rock bottom to through the roof. He will be one that can’t wait for the next game after getting that goal.” 

In other news, Celtic have made an approach to sign ‘their Steven Davis’, according to a top pundit.