Alan Hutton insists that Albian Ajeti will be a “big loss” for Celtic if he cannot recover from injury in time to face Rangers after the international break.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Gers defender believes Neil Lennon will already have one eye on derby day and that he will not want his in-form striker on the sidelines.
Speaking to BBC Scotland (27/10, 17:15) after the win over Hibernian, Lennon confirmed that the Swiss striker had “tweaked a hamstring” and that he faced at least two to three weeks on the sidelines.
Celtic face Rangers at Parkhead on 17 October, leaving it as touch and go over whether Ajeti will be available.
The 23-year-old had netted his fifth goal in six Premiership games against Hibs before he pulled up and was replaced by fellow hitman Odsonne Edouard.
Hutton admits he has not been overly impressed by the Frenchman’s form in recent weeks and insists that losing Ajeti will be a bitter pill for Lennon to swallow.
Hutton told Football Insider: “He went off after about 35 minutes, he scored and then he kind of pulled up a little bit – it’s not ideal, he’s come in, he’s done really well, he’s scored goals, he’s looked bright.
“Lennon will have one eye on the Rangers game after the international break, it’s a chance to put down a marker, both teams will have an eye on it so they won’t want to lose players, especially not at the moment, I think Edouard’s not been hitting the heights.
“He has so it’s going to be a big blow if he’s out for a few weeks, that’s for sure.”
Ajeti failed to score in 12 games for West Ham prior to his move to Glasgow, having joined the Hammers from FC Basel last summer.
He has 11 international caps under his belt for Switzerland.
In other Celtic news, the Bhoys have been tipped to accept a £12million for a senior star.