Thursday, June 30, 2022

Newcastle United Prepared To Move In For This Celtic Defender: Right Choice For Bruce?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Daily Mail has stated that Newcastle United are prepared to move in for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer this summer. It is understood that the Magpies are ready to table an £8m bid to acquire the signature of the Norwegian center-half who has just got a year left to run in his contract at Celtic Park (via The Daily Mail).

Ajer’s Impressive Form At Parkhead This Season

Ajer has been a regular feature in Celtic’s first-team this season and has been responsible for putting in a run of consistent displays at the centre of their defence. The 22-year-old has featured in 40 matches for the Glaswegian giants this term, netting one goal and grabbing two assists in the process across various competitions.

The Norwegian defensive ace has given a good account of himself on the defensive end of the field as he is averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 3.4 clearances, 0.5 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game in the Scottish Premiership. He has even been excellent with his ball-distribution after making 88.2% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Ajer has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in Scottish football, so this summer could be an ideal chance for him to seal a move to the Premier League, where he will be able to test himself against some of the best players in world football.

Newcastle United prepared to move in for Kristoffer Ajer who is in action in the photo
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stuart Wallace/BPI/Shutterstock 11812764dx Kristoffer Ajer of Celtic and Kemar Roofe of Rangers Celtic v Rangers, Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK – 21 Mar 2021 Celtic v Rangers, Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK – 21 Mar 2021 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xStuartxWallace/BPI/Shutterstockx 11812764dx

What Does The Norwegian Defender Offer On The Pitch?

Ajer is a deceptively quick defender who can make up a lot of ground to make a last-ditch clearance when required. He is usually quick to react to the danger and has got the tenacity to earn the ball back for his team.

Standing at 1.98m, the Norwegian prospect is a towering presence inside his penalty box and can dominate the opposition in the air. He can also be a goal threat from set-pieces deep inside the opponent’s half. Ajer is also a composed presence on the ball but there are some question marks over whether he can maintain his good form and cope with the physicality and high intensity of Premier League football.

Is Ajer The Right Choice For The Magpies?

At the moment, Steve Bruce has got a lot of unhappy and underperforming players in his squad. If the Magpies can avoid relegation from the English top-flight, they would have to invest in bringing in some good players this summer. Ajer fits the bill perfectly and will be a decent choice for Newcastle as he would add a lot of bite and steel to Bruce’s defensive department. Furthermore, the Celtic youngster could potentially form a commanding defensive partnership with Jamaal Lascelles at St. James’ Park in the coming seasons.

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