Despite Rangers’ resurgence in the recent years, Celtic have managed to maintain their sheer supremacy in the domestic circuit. They are now on the verge of conquering the league crown for the ninth successive time, and Neil Lennon has done an incredible job since succeeding Brendan Rodgers at Parkhead just over a year ago.
The Hoops are regarded for their esteemed academy ranks that produced numerous superstars of the game for decades. A few from the current squad are touted to shine in the forthcoming future and Kristoffer Ajer, arguably, is one such name who has all the attributes to emerge as a top-notch centre-half.
Alarming For Celtic?
While the Hoops must be keen on retaining his services for a few more years, the reported interest in the Norwegian is alarming considering the suitors’ financial superiority over the Scottish Champions. There have been rumours of AC Milan, Leicester City and Arsenal’s attention in the 22-year-old a few weeks back and according to former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan (while speaking to Football Insider), Ajer would prefer a switch to King Power to reunite with the Northern Irishman.
“Brendan knows him and has worked with him before. He must feel he is capable of working in the Premier League. You always trust the players you have worked with before because you realise their potential.
“Also, the style of play they have, he will complement the other players they have at the back. If the money is right Celtic will listen I would think.”
Ajer joined the Glasgow giants back in January 2016 after impressing on a one-week trial. Although he began his career as a midfielder, the crisis at the back saw him securing a makeshift role under then-boss Rodgers. His impressive form earned him a regular status ever since and the versatility exhibited across the backline made him integral to Celtic’s success story.
A Modern-day Centre-back
The young centre-back appeared 49 times this season prior to the pandemic and showcased his composure irrespective of formation and strategic alterations. His towering presence in the heart of the deep defence helped Christopher Jullien settle in the new surroundings following a summer switch from French outfit Toulouse.
Rodgers, meanwhile, has done wonder at Leicester City as they have almost cemented a Champions League berth for the upcoming term. He is well aware of Ajer’s abilities and therefore, might raid his former employers this summer.
The Norway international is strong in the air, calm on the ball and loves to play it out from the back, which suits the gameplan of the modern-day managers. His current deal at the Paradise runs down in a couple of years, and with no new contract talks in place, Lennon must decide Ajer’s Celtic future keeping all the aspects in his mind.