Celtic’s temporary right-back Kristoffer Ajer has been receiving the love from supporters on social media yet again.
For the second time in two competitive games, the Norwegian was asked to fill in down the right. That’s despite the fact Ajer’s natural position is as at centre-back. But when you have the quality he has on the ball, it doesn’t really matter where you play.
Ajer, as expected, strolled it once again against Sarajevo. He still doesn’t look natural when he tries to bomb up the right and get crosses into the penalty area. But he continues to remain solid in the position, and didn’t look uncomfortable throughout the night.
Naturally, that’s led to even more praise for the big man on Twitter. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to Ajer’s display against the Bosnians:
Boli's settling in nicely,looks like we've got a good player here,and big Ajer is just some man, future captain.
— tootingtims (@tootingtims) July 17, 2019
Can’t wait to see big kris Ajer this year, he was an absolute machine last season and so far pre season he’s been outstanding! We didn’t sign denayer cause we’ve got Kris Ajer!!!💚💚💚💚💚
— Mikey Gowran (@michaelgowran1) July 17, 2019
If a plane fell out of the sky I reckon big Ajer would try and header it.
— C.G (@garland_conor) July 18, 2019
Bitton has done enough to prove a bk up CB as for Ajer he’s got everything it takes to play at the highest level Morgan played really well defo happy so far 🍀
— mcguinness 🍀 (@john_mcg28) July 17, 2019
Ajer was class at RB
— Brandon (@BrandonM__67) July 17, 2019
Anyone thinking Ajer should play anywhere other than CD is worth the watching, not because he isn’t good enough to do it, it’s the fact that he is our best CD by a mile HH 🍀
— Allan Ronney HH (@AllanRonney) July 17, 2019
Glorified friendly, anyone judging Lennon or the team on that need to take a few chill pills.
Thought overall we played well, Boli had a couple of horrendous moments. CalMac, Morgan & Christie were excellent.
Ajer is box office, regardless of where be plays, an absolute star.
— Michael McKenzie (@KaiserCelt32) July 17, 2019
A reckon we could stick Ajer upfront and he’d still dae a job
— Kieran (@_Kieran67) July 17, 2019
You gotta love big Ajer every time theirs a bad tackle on a Celtic player he’s the first man to his aid and giving the opponent what for he’s like the best mate you have who will always have your back no matter the situation.
— C.G (@garland_conor) July 17, 2019
“Right-back Kristoffer Ajer” isn’t something that we’ll keep saying
These little experiments seem to always occur in the early Champions League qualifiers. Nir Bitton at centre-back is a persistent one, and Ajer at right-back is another to fall into that category.
The truth is that it has its time and place. A first-round qualifier against a poor Bosnian outfit, which Sarajevo are if we’re being honest, is a good time to try different things. Ajer bossed things on the night, and looked impressive against that standard of opposition.
But it also doesn’t take away from the fact that he isn’t a natural right-back. Agains better sides in the latter qualifying rounds, we could be punished if we don’t have a more suitable player in that position.
Should the deal for Hatem Abd Elhamed go through, that could allow Ajer to drop back into centre-back, where he’s so often dominant. Elhamed has experience at right-back too, even though he’s also primarily comfortable in the centre.
But we still lose so much not having Ajer at the centre of defence. His colossal figure and ability to open teams up with driving runs is a tad wasted on the right side. Neil Lennon has already admitted that it isn’t permanent in any case (BBC, 21:04)
In fairness, it doesn’t stop him putting in a real shift for Celtic wherever he plays. It’s no surprise then that the Hoops fans have so much affection for the big man.