Kristoffer Ajer says he wasn't challenged enough at Celtic

By Euan Davidson

September 7, 2021

Former Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer has spoken about his departure from the club.

On international duty with Norway, the now-Brentford centre-back has been enjoying life in the Premier League. The recently promoted club sit 10th, conceding just once from three games [Premier League].

Under Thomas Frank, the Bees have got off to a very respectable start. And now, looking back on his time at Celtic, Ajer has said he respects the standard in Scotland, but it wasn’t challenging enough.

Speaking to Norwegian outlet VG, Ajer said:

“I have incredible respect for the Scottish league, there are many great teams there, but there will be a little too many matches where I am not challenged enough. 

“I will definitely be in the Premier League, so I probably think the Premier League is not possible to complain about.”

“I was quite bitter about leaving Celtic” | 67HH sits down with Jackie McNamara

“I was quite bitter about leaving Celtic” | 67HH sits down with Jackie McNamara
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

He then joked:

“I have gone from haggis and Scottish pie in Scotland to eating salads and chicken in London, so there has been great development there as well.”

Kristoffer Ajer and his way of showing “incredible respect” to Celtic and Scotland could use some work

Firstly, we’ve got to assume the haggis and pie thing is a joke. Fine, we may have a culinary culture that’s high in carbohydrates, but how regularly does anyone eat haggis? Answers on a postcard, please.

But in terms of his comments about the league, it’s not as if Celtic had a water-tight defence last season. We conceded only 6 fewer than Hibernian in third-place [Sky Sports]. Fine, Ajer was clearly our best defender, but he was by no means imperious.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

With Ajer’s international manager Stale Solbakken getting involved as well [VG], the whole exchange has left a bad taste. Solbakken, who only lasted 30 games at Wolves boss [Transfermarkt], has opined about the standard of Scottish football before.

It’s pretty disrespectful, when Celtic put their time, money, effort and coaching into making Ajer the player he is now. For Solbakken to have moaned so vociferously about the standard he’s playing at certainly didn’t help Celtic to hold onto a player that the club made famous.

If the standard was so bad here, Ajer never would’ve progressed his game to the point where he’s an international player.

As for Ajer himself; if that’s “incredible respect”, then it needs work in the delivery.

In other news: What’s Real Betis’ president upset about?