Friday, September 29, 2023

Celtic Tie Down Services Of 20 Y/O Defensive Beast For 4 More Seasons: Huge Boost For Rodgers’ Plans?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Celtic defender, Kristoffer Ajer has reportedly agreed to a 4-year contract extension with the Scottish Premiership outfit, admitting that he had no intention of leaving the club despite the on-going interest from some of Europe’s best sides.

He was quoted – “It was never in doubt. When you play for Celtic and you are performing in such a good team, then there will always be interest. But, for me, it will always be about Celtic. I have never been interested in hearing about any of the interest from other clubs. I was just 100% focused on Celtic. And when this opportunity came up to renew my contract, I was really happy with that because there is not a better club for me to be at right now.”

“I am really happy with the length of my contract. It shows that they believe in me at this club and I really believe that I can have a future at Celtic.”

Ajer has been a standout performer for the Hoops during this campaign, out of all the youngsters currently thriving under Brendan Rodgers. The player has been successful in cementing a starting spot despite being just 20 years old. Ajer has been rewarded with plenty of game time this season as is evident from his 32 starts in the 33 games he appeared for.

He is versatile enough to play in both centre-back and holding midfield roles. Rodgers has fielded the youngster mostly in the Hoops backline but sometimes even in the right-back spot, being distinctly rewarded with top-quality performances.

Ajer embarked on his professional career with Rælingen FK and later signed into the youth side of Lillestrøm SK when he was just 10. He made his senior team debut with another Norwegian outfit, IK Start and later became the youngest captain in the Eliteserien at the tender age of just 16.

He impressed during his week-long trial at the Glasgow Stadium and notched up a 4-year-contract in February 2016 for a meagre £500,000 transfer fee. His development and rise to first-team football have been meteoric, which earned him the illustrious call-up to the Norwegian national team.

Now Ajer has 2 caps for his country and 35 for the Norway youth sides. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches, Ajer towers over most players but is in no sense of the word, slow. He can hold his own against physically imposing and pacey forwards.

Read More: Bournemouth Place Celtic Defensive Star On The Top Of Their Shopping List: Should Howe Get Him?

If Celtic are to continue their dominance in the Scottish top-flight, keeping players like Ajer will go a long way in securing their future. A brilliant move by Rodgers and a massive boost for the Celts fans undoubtedly.

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