John Hartson admits he was surprised to find out that Kristoffer Ajer wasn’t in the running for the PFA’s Young Player of the Year award. The Norwegian was overlooked for the award despite a strong second-half to the season.
Ajer has featured in all but two of Celtic’s domestic matches in 2019, keeping 15 clean sheets in the process. Despite this, the 21 year-old missed out on the four man nomination with Lewis Ferguson, Ryan Kent, Jake Hastie and David Turnbull chosen instead.
The defender was selected in the league’s Team of the Year but that didn’t stop Hartson from voicing his feelings.
“I am surprised he wasn’t at least in the running for the PFA Young Player of the Year award”, Hartson told the Evening Times.
“He has been outstanding since the turn of the year and is a huge prospect.”
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Using the loan market wisely
Ajer is one of a number of talents that Celtic have brought into the first team following good loan spells. The centre-back learned his trade during a very useful year at Kilmarnock in 2016/2017. He played 16 times in the league for the Rugby Park side and gained a real understanding of Scottish football.
Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor are two other young stars who spent time on loan at a decent level. Christie spent two seasons at Aberdeen between 2016 and 2018. He played over 50 times for Derek McInnes men and netted 13 goals. McGregor, meanwhile, scored 14 in an excellent season for Notts County that left Celtic fans foaming at the mouth.
It is no surprise to see the likes of Ajer, McGregor and Christie doing so well now. The trio have earned their corn, making their mistakes when it doesn’t directly affect Celtic. It would be no surprise to see Lewis Morgan be the next Hoops man to rise up the Celtic ranks either next season or the one after.