Sky Sports pundit Davie Provan has disparaged Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer in his Scottish Sun column, suggesting the player is getting ahead of himself by looking for a move away from the Hoops.
Ajer’s agent made comments earlier this month suggesting that the young Norwegian international would look to leave Celtic Park this summer, despite being a regular in Neil Lennon’s side.
The 21-year-old has become a trusted member of the manager’s starting eleven.
Whether his agent was simply trying to drum up interest to increase his potential new contract value or genuinely believes an exit is on the cards is unknown.
Provan wasn’t left that impressed.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the former Celtic man said: “Is Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer getting ahead of himself? Agent Tore Pedersen insists the 21-year-old won’t extend his contract and will leave Celtic this summer.
Of a possible move to England for the centre-back, former Hoops striker Harald Brattbakk said: ‘The money is a big issue. I heard Virgil van Dijk doubled his salary going to Southampton and then at least doubled it again moving to Liverpool.’
“Harald pal, Ajer will never be in the same ballpark as van Dijk.”
Ajer may not appear to have the same raw talent that Virgil van Dijk did when he played at Celtic Park, but I don’t think there’s any doubt he could play in a higher-profile league.
At 21 he already has exceptional experience and has the personality of a winner, though perhaps not always having the composure of an elite defender.
Nonetheless, he’s a top talent and dismissing his ability now could come back to bite pundits in the future.
Plenty in Scotland lined up to suggest van Dijk would never be as good a player as he has emerged into.
Ajer still has plenty to offer and it’d be smashing if we managed to sort out a new contract for him.