Former Celtic man Kristoffer Ajer clarifies Solbakken comment that annoyed fans
Kristoffer Ajer has clarified some comments made by his national manager that enraged Celtic supporters.
Norway manager Stale Solbakken told Norwegian media in March that Ajer developed “bad habits” [VG], and needed to change league in order to improve. John Kennedy responded in some style, blasting Solbakken for being disrespectful to Celtic and the Scottish Premiership [Sunday Post].
Now, Ajer has attempted to soothe the war of words. The Brentford defender, as quoted by the Daily Record, said:
“For my part, I don’t think I had any bad habits at Celtic.
“You have to remember that I am still developing. I am 23 years old and have not actually played for many years as a defender, I have many years ahead of me where I can learn a lot and get better.
“[Now] I think what Stale meant was that I had to take the next step and I have.”
“I am happy with the start I have made. We have defended well as a team. And I have come up against incredible players. For example, I was up against Mohamed Salah the other week, who was extraordinary and by far the best player I have ever played against.”
Kristoffer Ajer attempts to cool any lingering bad feeling between him, Norway and Celtic
It’s worth remembering that Kristoffer Ajer never really made any fuss about leaving Celtic. He always relished making big challenges, and represented the club well.
When he left, if there was any bad feeling, it wasn’t down to him. Instead, it seemed like a pushy national team manager was throwing his two cents in. Certainly, the comments were disrespectful.
Ajer, who recently told The Independent that he had aspirations of becoming a doctor, has adapted well to life in the Premier League. While he had his critics at Celtic, his supporters would’ve always assumed that’d be the case.
A tall, confident ball-playing centre-back is an expensive commodity in the English top-flight. He’s certainly being worked harder for the Premier League new boys, making more tackles and interceptions per 90 this season than last [WhoScored?].
Will this be the end of the saga, now? Or will the odd Solbakken be desperate to re-clarify that no, he did mean to be rude about the quality of the Scottish top-flight?
Either way, Ajer’s happy, our defence is much improved, and we saw profit on a player we developed.
Everyone’s a winner.