During a recent edition of A Celtic State Of Mind, Paul John Dykes spent some time talking about Hoops centre-back Kristoffer Ajer.
It may be fair to say that Ajer has been a key player for the Hoops this season, with only one player making more appearances for the Glasgow club than the Norway international has made this term and Ajer earning the seventh-highest average overall WhoScored rating (7.12) of any Celtic player in the Premiership during the 2020/21 campaign before the Hoops’ clash with Ross County on Wednesday evening.
The important role Ajer has played for Celtic this term was reflected in what Dykes had to say about the defender on this podcast. The podcaster was full of praise for the 22-year-old, sharing he was delighted to see him help the Hoops to win the 2019/20 Scottish Cup Final versus Heart of Midlothian on Sunday by scoring the shootout-winning penalty and emphasising that the Glasgow club needs to keep hold of him in January, especially having now discovered “his best position” according to Dykes.
He said: “Special mention as well to Kris Ajer. I think that Kris Ajer has come in for a lot of stick all season, to be honest.
“I think, you know, when you’re to look at everyone’s performances in terms of the defence at Celtic this season, he’s probably been our best performer.
“I was delighted for him, I really was and I think that was shown in my celebration but what I was kind of screaming at the screen was – that boy wanted that.
“You look at Ajer, you look at his performance and his response to scoring that winning penalty and then a wee bit after, the angle that the CelticTV gives you behind the goals and it zooms in on Ajer and he’s just having a moment to himself, for me, I’m looking at him and thinking we need to keep him. We really, really need to keep him in January.
“I think – as a right-back – I think we’ve found his best position.”
Is right-back Ajer's best position?
TIF Thoughts on what Dykes had to say about Ajer…
The £3.6m-rated man was linked with a move away from Parkhead back in the summer transfer window, with current Serie A leaders AC Milan and English Premier League side Southampton said to have been interested in signing the Norwegian, however, he ultimately never left the Glasgow club.
If Ajer is as committed to Celtic’s cause as Dykes has suggested he is, then perhaps it’s understandable why the podcaster believes the Hoops must ward off any potential interest in him when the transfer window re-opens in January, especially as he’s been such a key player for the Hoops this term, with the club in pursuit of a potentially historic 10th straight Scottish top-flight title this term.