Former striker Kevin Kyle has recently raised an issue regarding Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer playing at right-back for Celtic.
During his time at Parkhead, the 22-year-old has made 154 appearances for the Hoops in which he has managed to bag six goals and provide five assists (per Transfermarkt).
While the majority of those outings have come at centre-back, the Norwegian has been known to fill in at right-back for Neil Lennon’s side.
In the Scottish Cup final victory against Heart of Midlothian on Sunday, Ajer was deployed on the right-hand side of the defence, with Christopher Jullien and Shane Duffy playing centrally.
During the latest episode of the Open Goal podcast, the pundits analysed the cup final and Kyle raised a concern about Ajer filling in at right-back for the Bhoys.
He said: “The problem with him at right-back is it’s not his fault, because Duffy and Jullien seem to make that many mistakes that he ends up getting put back in there.
“Whereas if you get a settled two in the centre of defence, Ajer would be a great addition because it’s how quick he gets out.
“When you’re coaching and you’re trying to encourage your back four to move up – come forward with the ball – when you’ve got somebody like Ajer marauding with the ball up that touchline, it has the other team on the back foot.
“I think that’s something that Celtic [have] maybe not had for a while and he’s big, he’s powerful, he’s strong as well. So, it’s a good fit.”
TIF Thoughts on what Kevin Kyle said about Kristoffer Ajer at right-back…
As can be seen in what the podcast pundit had to say, he believes that Ajer would be a good fit for the Hoops at right-back, however, he is exposed by the centre-backs playing next to him.
Where should Kristoffer Ajer be playing for Celtic?
While Kyle criticised both Duffy and Jullien, they have been some of the best players in Lennon’s squad in the Premiership so far this season.
With a 7.46/10 average rating, Jullien has been the Hoops’ second-best performer and Duffy has been the third-best performer with a 7.35/10 average rating (per WhoScored).
Ajer, on the other hand, has picked up a 7.12/10 average rating, which is still impressive but makes him only the seventh-best performer for the Bhoys in the league.
So, that would certainly suggest that if Lennon wishes to fit the Norwegian into Celtic’s defence, then right-back may be the best place for him.