Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer pleased to get a break

By David Walton

March 26, 2020

Kristoffer Ajer’s fitness levels are up there with any player in Scotland, but even the big Norwegian is happy to have a bit of a break from football for now.

The big centre-back has made 49 appearances this season and is also a regular for Norway (Transfermarkt). Had football not been stopped, Ajer would’ve most likely been on international duty gearing up for a clash against Serbia.

Indeed, he was close to breaking the 60-appearance mark had we been allowed to play on this season. But the current health crisis put a halt to pretty much all football around Europe. It now remains up in the air as to whether we will get to complete the campaign too.

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer in Perth (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And Ajer, speaking in the Scottish Sun, admits he’s just happy to be getting a bit of time to himself back home.

“I was recently sent a statistic that stated I have played more minutes than any other player in Europe this season. So my legs need a break now.

“I’ve been sent a training program by Celtic and I run two or three sessions a day. Otherwise, I read a little. I’m incredibly good at reading 30 or 40 pages of a book before I put it away, but maybe I’ll finish them now!

“It’s actually been wonderful for me to come home and meet the family because I see them very rarely. So it’s nice to come home and take a little breather.”

Will Ajer be around to build on his partnership with Christopher Jullien?

While these are all positive comments in that he’s getting the break he needs whilst trying to keep fit for whenever he’s needed once again – there’s still a big cloud hanging over Ajer.

It’s difficult to forget his agent’s comments before the shutdown. Indeed, his representative, Tore Pedersen, has claimed that his client will leave Celtic in the summer (Scottish Sun).

He made the comments despite the fact that the club had yet to even receive nevermind accept a bid for Ajer’s services. Yes, the Norwegian has been a fine servant to the club since arriving in 2016. But his agent will need to understand that he’ll only leave when a suitable figure is offered to the club for him.

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer (Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

What his agent’s comments have done, however, is make you question Ajer’s commitment. He always gives 100% when he’s on the pitch, and wasn’t showing signs of slowing up before the shutdown. However, we don’t need players who have their eyes on leaving before the club have told them they can.

It will be interesting to see if Neil Lennon has any private chats with Ajer to reign his agent in. After all, that’s what he did with Olivier Ntcham in the summer, and it seemed to put an end to any uncertainty over his future (Daily Record).

As for Ajer’s performances this season, they’ve been impressive. He’s had his wobble, but generally he’s been a consistent performer for Lennon. Hopefully, we’re able to keep him at Parkhead for many years to come, but there’s some investigating to be done by the Hoops boss about whether that will be possible.