BRENDAN RODGERS reckons Kristoffer Ajer is in line to play against Rangers next week.

The 19-year-old Norwegian, signed from FK Start in 2016, spent last season on loan at Kilmarnock after being converted from midfield to central defence.

Ajer was impressive in the 3-0 home win over Aberdeen while Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton, both of whom have partnered Dedryck Boyata, sat on the bench.


Asked if Ajer was up to playing in the intense atmosphere of a Glasgow derby, Rodgers replied: “It doesn’t matter for me what age someone is – it is just picking the best team each game to get a result.

“I would have no hesitation. He has all the qualities. It is just about getting him the experience. I thought he was brilliant.

“I said afterwards in the changing room to all the players, this is a boy that when I came in last year was 18, 6ft 5in, but just needed some men’s football.

“We sent him to Kilmarnock and he was taught very well by Lee McCulloch and Lee Clark and when he came in the summer he was a man.

“He was physically developed and he played in some of the Champions League games early on.

“He is fast, he can carry the ball and you see how he wins his aerial challenges as well so he is a big prospect for us.”

Rodgers also praised Jonny Hayes, whose grabbed a debut goal for the club.

He said: “I know what it means to be from Ireland and support Celtic, but to play for the club and get your first goal, especially against your old team, well, it’s a really special day for him.

“He is just settling into the club, but the last couple of months have really seen him make a step forward, be that bit more direct in training.

“Sometimes when you come into a club, you are a little bit safe and be everyone’s friend, but now he is really aggressive in his game, with and without the ball. I am delighted for him.”


Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Celtic authors, Stephen Sullivan and Stevie Murray for a special festive episode – Christmas Jumpers for Goal-Posts.

Stephen Sullivan is a former Celtic View reporter who wrote the much-lauded Sean Fallon biography, ‘Iron Man’. He is now the editor of FIFA.com.

Stevie Murray has now written two books on Celtic – ‘Ten Men Won The League’ and ‘Kenny of the Celtic’ – and he is a respected and authoritative voice on the club.


Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes, @acsom and @CQNMagazine and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.

Treat yourself to a signed copy of Jim Craig – Right Back to 67 and you will receive a copy of That Season on Paradise signed by Bertie Auld, just order the Jim Craig book at CQNbookstore.co.uk and we’ll do the rest…



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