Norwegian pundit and former Celtic defender Vidar Riseth has outlined a major transfer concern for Kris Ajer.
It looks all but likely that Ajer will leave for pastures new this summer. The towering Norwegian international has been at Parkhead for over five years. And after playing a starring role in our quadruple-treble success, this summer will mark the beginning of the final 12 months of his contract.
In the past, Neil Lennon has claimed that the club have tried to renegotiate but were unable to do so. Last summer, he was being linked with moves to the likes of AC Milan. However, in the end, he stayed at Parkhead and failed in his bid to secure the 10.
And Riseth believes that such a poor collective campaign could make Ajer’s summer prospects lessen. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the ex-Celtic man said: “It’s difficult to say where Kris will end up next year. Before this season he played really well and big clubs like Milan were looking at him. He was hot in the market.
“This season, though, he hasn’t done quite so well. It’s important to keep going well year after year if you want to reach a major club.
“If he is going to leave Celtic, of course he wants to find a new club – but maybe he’s not going to find a top, top club because you have to be doing well for Celtic if that is to happen. He has to keep thinking, ‘I’m a Celtic player, I want to give everything for Celtic’ – that’s the way to make the big clubs take notice. First and foremost, he has to do a job for Celtic.”
Individually, Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer couldn’t have done much more this season
Ajer has been our best performer of the season. There’s been nobody else who could lay claim to that, even if it feels less of an achievement this season given the circumstances.
He also tops the list for under-23s in Europe when it comes to his pass completion rate [Football Wonderkids]. He’s still managed to be a leader from the back even despite the fact his centre-back partners have been swapped around consistently.
If Ajer wants away this summer, there should be no shortage of interest. Any scout who has been to see the former Start man will know of his quality. He’ll know that Ajer has been performing well individually even if his team-mates haven’t. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of trait that potential new clubs will like.
Ajer’s next move won’t be a side-step. He’s proven himself too much at Celtic for that to be the case. When he’s being looked at by suitors, not many will look at him failing to win the league with Celtic this season.
What they’ll see is a commanding young centre-back who has extensive room for development. A centre-back who, at 23, has already experienced both Europa League and Champions League football. Not to mention he’s a constant on the international scene with Norway.
Riseth may think clubs will be put off by our struggles this season. But for those watching Ajer closely, they can’t have left unimpressed.