Report: In-demand Kris Ajer to return to Celtic squad against Bristol City
Celtic centre-back Kris Ajer is being earmarked for a return to the squad against Bristol City on Wednesday, the Scottish Sun reports.
Norwegian defender Ajer has yet to feature for Celtic despite the club having two pre-season games under their belt. Ajer wasn’t in either squad to face both Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic.
Instead, his summer has been filled with speculation over his long-term future. With only a year remaining on his Celtic contract, several clubs have been linked with bids. TV2 reported yesterday that Brentford had seen an offer of potentially £15m rejected for the player.
Ajer is in Wales with the first-team squad for their pre-season training camp. That’s what made his omission from the first two matches all the more bizarre.
A host of first-team players have already begun to get cracking in terms of match action. The likes of Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard have played a part despite also being linked with moves away.
Kris Ajer set to feature for Celtic in Bristol
It’s difficult to know what’s going on in Ajer’s mind at present. He clearly envisages a summer departure at some stage. He’ll likely have wanted it to happen before now too.
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But the time is now to start getting some minutes into his legs. It was a concern that he hadn’t played in any of our two previous games, but if he’s being lined up for a return on Wednesday, it can only be a boost for Celtic.
If Ajer is still here by the time Midtjylland roles around, Ange Postecoglou will likely want to play him. Why wouldn’t you? He remains the best centre-back at the football club and it’s hardly an area of the squad we can be picky with.
Ideally, Celtic would’ve gotten all of their defensive work done by now and we could’ve looked ahead to the UCL qualifiers with a fresh look. But that’s clearly not going to be the case at this rate. And we need Ajer to get have some minutes into him before the Danish side arrive at Parkhead on July 20th.
There shouldn’t be any issues with Ajer’s commitment of course. Even when things were going disastrously, last season, he was one of the only players who stood out and fought for the cause. He’ll understand the need to do so again against Midtjylland.
And it’ll be interesting to see just how close to a full-strength team Postecoglou will pit out against Bristol. It’s our penultimate game before the UCL qualifiers begin, and it’s likely the squad will reflect that.