Celtic star Kristoffer Ajer could reportedly be fit for Rennes

By David Walton

September 12, 2019

Celtic have received a big boost with Kristoffer Ajer reportedly looking to be fit for the trip to Rennes.

The big Norwegian picked up a knock in AIK that forced him to miss the trip to Ibrox two weeks ago. However, the Scottish Sun are reporting that Ajer could return as soon as Thursday night.

It seems as though the big centre-back will certainly miss Saturday’s trip to Hamilton Accies. That could see the partnership of Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Ehamed continue at the back.

Kristoffer Ajer is apparently close to a return (Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

As it stands, Celtic remain a little short at the back. Injuries to Ajer, Jozo Simunovic, and Nir Bitton doesn’t leave the Hoops with many options. Only Jack Hendry is in reserve, but the big Scotland international hasn’t played a single minute of football all season.

Therefore, news of Ajer’s return to action is a timely boost. He should slot straight in for Thursday night’s clash in France if fit. Celtic will surely want to test their best centre-back pairing on paper – Ajer and Jullien.

Ajer’s return comes at a key time

Celtic have a busy month coming up, and need all of the bodies they can get. Despite being well-stocked at the back, they’ve hit a bad run of luck through injuries.

For Saturday, it would’ve been ideal for the likes of Elhamed to be rested. After all, he played twice for Israel on international duty. But with numbers so short, it’s looking likely he could play at the back. The big Israeli played in the left side of a back three on both occasions during the internationals.

Hatem Elhamed looks like starting at Hamilton (Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

But there’s no denying Celtic need their big Norwegian back as soon as possible. He’s continuing to grow and grow as a Celtic player. He has future captain written all over him, and whenever he’s missing it’s a nasty blow.

There could potentially be a question mark with regards to whether Neil Lennon will want to throw Ajer straight in right enough. With such high-quality opposition in Rennes set to come up on Thursday, Lennon can’t afford to carry any passengers.

Neil Lennon will be delighted to have Ajer back (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Ajer has to be 100% fit if he’s to play next week. No risks should be taken by Lenny, but the Celtic manager will know fine well what he’s doing.

It’s just great to see that Ajer’s knock isn’t anything too serious. He’ll be kicking himself for missing the Rangers win, but having him back is massive.