Potential Kristoffer Ajer replacement Celtic must go for; CL experience; nicknamed "Pique"

By Euan Davidson

March 27, 2021

With Kristoffer Ajer more than likely to leave Celtic, the club needs to look at long-term replacements.

So, why not a defender who is nicknamed “Pique” [Guineefoot]? One with Champions League experience? Most pertinently: one named Mo Camara?

Now, don’t worry. This Mo Camara doesn’t play for Burnley, it isn’t 2005, and Gordon Strachan isn’t in charge of signings any more. Mohamed Ali Camara is a 23-year-old Guinea international, lighting up Switzerland with Young Boys.

A 6’3″ colossus, who plays centrally for the Swiss Champions, Camara has just one year left on his contract. The comparisons with Kristoffer Ajer, then, are a bit eerie. A commanding presence in the air, Camara combines the technical abilities of Ajer with upper-body strength and quick feet.

Camara likes to play his way out of trouble. In the Europa League this season, the defender has averaged 37 passes per 90, with 83% success [WhoScored?]. Footage of Swiss league matches also indicates he can hold up the ball well, doesn’t mind taking players on and is comfortable in possession.

The ideal modern ball-playing centre back, then.

Mohamed Aly Camara takes on Mandzukic in the Champions League / (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

Considerable experience despite age, ideal to replace Kristoffer Ajer?

Ideally, we wouldn’t be selling Kristoffer Ajer. In a perfect world, Camara might be the man to play next to him. Both have the attributes required to play for Celtic.

The Guinean might actually edge Ajer in terms of big-game experience, however. Camara played four times in the Champions League for Young Boys in 18-19 [Transfermarkt], while also proving vital to the Swiss side in the Europa League this season.

He’s been ever-present for Young Boys this season, racking up 20 league appearances. Interestingly, his career path has been similar to Ismaila Soro, having moved to Israel to further his development at Hapoel Ra’anana A.F.C. Soro played for Bnei Yehuda before moving to Celtic.

Given their exploits in Europe this season, Young Boys realise that bids will come in for their top players. Rated at just £2.7m by Transfermarkt, the Guinean will undoubtedly have his pick of clubs this summer.

However, the Swiss league leaders have conceded just 21 goals all season with Camara in the team. They won’t want to sell for a bargain fee, even with the clock ticking on his contract. If the Bhoys could seal the deal for between £3-5m, it’d represent an incredible bit of business.

It may be a fight to bring Camara to Celtic. However, by any metric, he’s worth fighting for.

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