By Alex McLeish

27th Nov, 2020 | 9:30am

'This is not a playground' - Exclusive: Ex-Scotland manager savages £4.5m Celtic star

Alex McLeish has suggested Albian Ajeti is suffering from a lack of confidence after he drew another blank for Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Rangers and Scotland manager questioned how many games Neil Lennon could give the 23-year-old after his dip in form.

The Swiss striker, who joined Celtic for an initial £4.5million from West Ham this summer, scored five goals in his opening six league games but has not found the back of the net since the end of September.

He drew a blank last weekend and was then an unused sub as Celtic sank out of Europe with a 4-1 defeat at Sparta Prague on Thursday night.

McLeish insisted Ajeti was failing to live up to expectations at Parkhead and suggested a lack of self-belief was behind his drastic drop in form.

McLeish told Football Insider: “Listen, this is not a playground, you know, we are talking top professionals and top demands and an expectation.

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“Ajeti, he can’t go through without scoring every week, you know. How many games do you give the players? The expectations are that they score.

“I’ve seen Ajeti score goals right at the start and maybe he just lost his momentum or confidence. You know, we often forget that these guys are human beings and they do have emotions.

“You never know what’s going on in somebody’s head so I guess if you’re in and out the team then there’s a wee bit of self-doubt, but he’s shown the signs that he can make a contribution.”

Ajeti has netted a total of five goals in 16 appearances across all competitions for Celtic, although he started only half of those games.

He has battled it out with the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala for a place in Neil Lennon’s side this season.

In other news, Football Insider pundit reacts to ‘Criminal’ Celtic update on Lennon sacking.