Kristoffer Ajer – The future of Norway’s defence

London, England, 7th November 2021. The Premier league winter ball during the Premier League match at the London Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-1310-0109

Kristoffer Vassbakk Ajer is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Brentford and the Norway national team. Ajer has previously played for Start in the Tippeligaen and Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, where he also had a loan spell with Kilmarnock. Ajer played as a midfielder when he was at Start, but when he was at Celtic, he switched to a defender, presumably due to his height. Ajer was one of the top favourites in Celtic betting.

Ajer made his professional debut with Start in 2014, and in 2016, he had a one week trial with Celtic FC. Then on 17 February 2016, he signed a four-year contract with Celtic and joined the club in June 2016. He was loaned to Kilmarnock in January 2017 and returned to his parent club to be a part of Brendan Rodgers’ team. On 14 May 2018, Ajer penned a new four-year deal with Celtic. On 30 August, Ajer scored his first goal for Celtic in a 3–0 win against FK Suduva.

On 24 October 2019, Ajer made his 100th appearance in all competitions for Celtic’s first team in a Europa League match against Lazio.

The Norwegian’s growth was very interesting when he moved to the Scottish club. Actually, he needed that loan move to Kilmarnock to prove to the club manager and management that he could become a pro player. Kris Ajer is an example of a player that has benefited from being loaned out before returning and making an impact on the first team. Ajer spent time with Kilmarnock training as a central defender before returning to Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic and becoming a mainstay. That loan spell made him learn about the position.

After his successful five seasons with Celtic FC, Ajer went public on his wish to leave Celtic at the start of June this season and had attracted interest from Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bayer Leverkusen. But to everyone’s surprise, he signed a five-year deal with the newly-promoted Brentford FC. At the end of July, Brentford announced the signing of the Celtic defender for a club-record 13.5million pounds.

After signing him, Brentford head coach Thomas Frank told the club’s official website: “We wanted to get another central defender in, and Kris was our first choice. We think he fits the position-specific profile perfectly, especially on the ball.”

“Kris is very composed and can find the right passes between the lines. His level when bringing the ball forward is very high. As a defender, he has the physicality that you need, and he won his duels when he played in the Scottish league. He can help us in both boxes, with his strength in the air.”

Ajer made his debut with the Norwegian National team in 2018 when the team beat Australia for four goals. With the performance that he is consistently keeping on, he will be vital to the defence of Norway, which is having a great young team.

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