Pundit Alex Rae has recently made an alarming claim about the situation around Kristoffer Ajer following Celtic’s loss in the Old Firm derby.
Rae appeared on the latest edition of Clyde Superscoreboard and the panel talked about numerous issues involving Celtic following the damaging 4-1 loss in the Old Firm. Rae focused on Ajer’s performance and criticised him for it.
Rae blamed the Norwegian defender for not being strong enough while trying to win the ball back. He believes that while Ajer did get the ball forward from the back, the defender should be doing more in the defensive side of the game as he’s someone who’s been linked with a move to Premier League sides.
Is Ajer good enough for the Premier League?
Rae blamed Ajer for one of the goals, saying that the 22-year-old should be looking to block the angle for the goal.
He stated (21:44): “You’ve got to try and block the angle and you have to try and engage a little bit and make your body bigger. For a player who has apparently been courted by Premier League clubs, obviously being Norwich who have just been promoted, that would be alarming for me. You want your centre-half to get there, take whatever it takes, and it doesn’t matter what part of the body it hits.
“It stings for a couple of seconds, but to duck out in the manner he does, he doesn’t actually give the goalkeeper a chance because it’s hit that quick, he can’t react. On the plus side, he stepped forward a couple of times, but you want your centre-half to defend first and foremost.”
TIF Thoughts on Ajer’s future…
Ajer picked up a rating of 7.05 in the Old Firm and only Odsonne Edouard picked up a better rating than him, which shows that the defender did have a decent game on Sunday (as per Whoscored).
In the whole of the Premiership campaign, only six Celtic stars have grabbed a better rating than Ajer, which is a reflection of his importance to the side.
Perhaps, some criticism for him is unjustified and he deserves praise for his contributions at the club. And if he does leave in the summer, the Hoops should ask for a higher fee than his current value of £3.60 million to approve his exit, in our view.