Mark Wilson worries of Celtic "domino" effect from Ajer transfer

By Euan Davidson

July 16, 2021

Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson is worried about the impact of an imminent Kristoffer Ajer transfer.

Wilson, who played 115 times for the Bhoys [Celtic Wiki], has suggested that despite his age, Ajer represents real experience at the back. Yesterday, reports emerged linking the Norwegian to a £13.5m move to Brentford. John Mercer, of the Telegraph, broke the news on Twitter.

One of the longest tenured Celtic players currently in the squad, Wilson believes the lack of planning for his departure has left the team vulnerable. On Clyde 1 Superscoreboard, Wilson said:

“The Celtic hierarchy would have known this is the plan for Ajer. As Ajer said, he hopes Celtic would have stuck to the promise, so there is no surprises here.

“He has a year left and he was never going to sign a new deal.

“The head of recruitment went pretty early, as did the manager, so there was nobody to make these decisions. Peter Lawwell couldn’t just pluck a name out of thin air and bring him in.

“It’s a domino effect. If you don’t have a manager and a head of recruitment you leave yourself in this position. You leave yourself short and inexperienced at the back.

“You could excuse them if this game popped up out of the blue, but this fixture has been pencilled in for a long, long time.

“It’s just been too slow from everyone at the club.

“They’ve left themselves short of players and short of time, and there is only one way that will turn out for you in the Champions League.”

Wilson is right; Celtic are still paying for last season’s mistakes, let alone imminent Ajer transfer

None of this is to dampen the excitement of today, of course. The Bhoys announced the signing of Japanese sensation Kyogo Furuhashi earlier, and the hope is more will follow.

Liel Abada is also through the door. Good signings, both. But aside from Osaze Urhoghide, there have been defensive reinforcements as of yet. Carl Starfelt looked close to signing a deal, but the Sweden international hasn’t arrived yet.

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

The slow movement after the departures of Nick Hammond and Neil Lennon is still costing us. As a fan and broadcaster with the Celtic Huddle Podcast, Wilson won’t enjoy criticising Celtic. Or, dredging up past mistakes. But, really, he has to, because this remains a concern.

We’ve seen promising performances from young players, including Stephen Welsh, Urhoghide, Leo Hjelde and Dane Murray, but it’s asking a lot of most of those names. Welsh aside, none have first-team experience with Celtic, and so a Champions League qualifier is a baptism of fire, if you’ll pardon the cliché.

There’s still plenty of the transfer window left, but Wilson is right. It’s time to get a move on, lest more dominos fall.

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