Any concerns over Kristoffer Ajer’s fitness levels can surely now be dismissed after latest events.
The Norwegian went down with a shoulder issue against Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday. It was so bad he had to come off against the Pars in what was a closely-contested game.
Since then, there has been no fresh update on whether he would make tomorrow night’s clash with AIK at Parkhead. In what is a monumental tie for Celtic tomorrow, it’s key they have their big players fit.
And, according to the Daily Record, Ajer looked raring to go in training today. They stated that he has shrugged off any effects of Saturday’s injury and that he’s ready to go tomorrow.
That was also backed up by Neil Lennon at his press conference today. He spoke about the injury issues this afternoon, and didn’t name the former Start man in his injury list (Celtic FC Twitter).
Ajer’s fitness confirmation will hopefully see him paired with Jullien
It seems unlikely, but with a bit of luck, we continue to see more of the Ajer-Christopher Jullien partnership. On paper, it should be our number one duo at the back. Yet, as it stands, they’ve rarely been seen together outside of last weekend.
AIK isn’t exactly a friendly match, of course. It’s not the kind of match where supporters would appreciate too much experimentation. But Ajer and Jullien shouldn’t be a risk anymore. They should both be at a level capable of operating alongside each other from now on.
Of course, Lenny does have some alternatives at the back that you wouldn’t bet against him using. Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton are also available if necessary.
Jullien, however, needs to be in there alongside the Norwegian. He clearly needs games in order to be judged properly. He may have looked shaky at times against Dunfermline, but a lack of match-fitness may have had plenty to do with that.
It’s a massive boost to see Ajer available for tomorrow night, however. He’ll be as commanding as ever as he continues to build a terrific reputation at Paradise.
But with a bit of luck we finally see a bit more of what should be our best defensive partnership tomorrow too.