Celtic signing of Bauer could be good news for Kristoffer Ajer

By John Reid

August 29, 2019

Celtic’s signing of Stoke right-back Moritz Bauer seems to come out of nowhere. The player didn’t seem to be on Celtic’s radar this summer, and then all of a sudden he is signed on a season long loan deal.

The move for Bauer now means that the Hoops have a surplus of right-backs at the club. However, the signing of the player could be good news for one particular Celtic player.

That player is Kristoffer Ajer, who has filled in at right-back on a number of occasions this season. With the signing of Bauer, he will presumably no longer have to fill in at that position.

Can now play in natural position

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He can now play in his natural position of centre-back, hopefully alongside either Jozo Simunovic or Christopher Jullien.

Ajer has actually played reasonably well for the Hoops at right-back. However, for past year he has arguably been Celtic’s best centre-back.

Therefore, Neil Lennon will want him to be playing in that position once more. The signing of Bauer should allow that to happen.

Circumstances could dictate a return to right-back

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Of course, circumstances may dictate that Ajer may again have to play at right-back this season. If the Hoops have a particularly bad injury crisis, for example.

Hopefully that will not happen though. At first, the signing of Bauer didn’t seem to make much sense. The Hoops already have Hatem Abd Elhamed, Anthony Ralston, and Ajer who can play right-back.

However, Neil Lennon must feel that Celtic can improve in that area of the pitch. Perhaps he also wants Ajer to play centre-back on a permanent basis.

It will be interesting to see the make-up of Celtic’s defence in the weeks and months ahead. So far, the team have not really had a settled back line. The Hoops boss has been forced into changes.

That will hopefully end sooner rather than later, and Ajer moving to centre-back could help with that.