Celtic Ace Claims He Is In No Hurry To Move On Despite Heavy Interest: Lennon Must Keep Him

Celtic Could Consider Swapping Kristoffer Ajer For Diego Laxalt - Ajer smiles
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 02: Kristoffer Ajer of Celtic looks on during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Hamilton Academical at Celtic Park Stadium on August 02, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by the Daily Record, Norwegian international defender Kristoffer Ajer has admitted that he is happy to stay on at Celtic, despite being the subject of some heavy interest from some of the bigger clubs in the continent. The defender was linked with moves to the likes of Leicester City and AC Milan in the summer but unexpectedly stayed on at Celtic. Now though, the Hoops man has claimed that he is in no hurry to move on and that he is enjoying his time with the champions.

Although the report has clarified that Norwegian centre-half Kristoffer Ajer is in no hurry to leave Celtic, how long he remains a Celtic player remains to be seen. Speaking on the matter, he said, “Clearly there was a lot of interest but I have huge respect for the club I’m at. I have a year and a half left on my contract and the club has given me an incredible amount. I came to the club as an attacking midfielder and I’ve gone on to play 150 games, and play for a club that means so much to so many. I haven’t rushed to move on. This is a really important season for the club and I’m looking forward to it.”

What Is Celtic’s Current Defensive Situation?

The centre-half has become one of the more important members of Neil Lennon’s roster, especially over the last couple of seasons. Despite the sensational campaign that he had in defence last time out, it must be conceded that Ajer hasn’t had his way this time around.

Although he started the season alongside the more experienced figure of Christopher Jullien, Ajer offered the more solid defensive presence. His performances warranted a regular place in the side, and Neil Lennon has understood the quality that he brings to the table.

Norwegian Centre-Half Kristoffer Ajer Is In No Hurry To Leave Celtic - Ajer in action
Celtic’s Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer heads the ball during the UEFA Europa League group E football match between Celtic and Cluj at Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on October 3, 2019. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

Although the Celts started the campaign with a two-man back-line, Neil Lennon’s decision to switch to a back three has further bolstered his chances of being a regular in the side. Ajer is usually deployed on the left side of the back-three, with Shane Duffy and Nir Bitton alongside him. While it’s safe to say that Jullien’s experience will be important to them this season, Ajer has been the preferred choice alongside Shane Duffy. The Irishman’s arrival from Brighton has been a huge boost to the Celts’ defensive aspirations, but it means that Jullien has to do with a place on the bench.

What Makes Kristoffer Ajer Such An Important Player For Celtic?

The Norwegian international centre-half has been one of the most important players in defence this season, and with good reason. Not only does he offer a solid presence at the back, but his overall play is right up there with the best in the division as well. Ajer is adept at charging forward with the ball, to the extent that he is often tasked with making mazy dribbles into space, looking for a potential attacking pass. His involvement in the Hoops’ offensive play cannot be underplayed, and dropping him from the side would nullify a vast amount of creativity from the back.

Norwegian Centre-Half Kristoffer Ajer Is In No Hurry To Leave Celtic: Why Lennon Mustn’t Sell Him

The Celts are hoping to achieve a record-breaking tenth straight league title this season, and Ajer is sure to have an important part to play in the latter stages of the campaign. His ability to drive forward with the ball at his feet will be essential in the fixtures where the attacking players all seem to be unexplainably ineffective. His quality and general ability as a defender needn’t be questioned, as the interest from clubs like Milan and Leicester prove the talent that he has got. Still young and in the developmental phase of his career, Ajer is sure to become a key player for the Celts in the future, assuming Neil Lennon can hold onto him beyond the next summer window.

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