News broke late last night that Celtic had sent youth prospect Kristoffer Ajer to Kilmarnock for the rest of the season where he could get some much needed first team football.
The Ayrshire side who have had more loans at this point than oldco Rangers and Islam Feruz combined have taken the player on with the directive he play at centre back during his time at Rugby Park.
While first team football should never be scoffed at, I do question if this a loan out of convenience rather than what’s best for the player overall.
Speaking to Christian Wulff the player seems upbeat about the move.
“I could have gone to England, but would have been as midfielder. Celtic wanted me to play centre-half & see me in Scottish league” said the midfielder turned defender.
“Now it’s important I’ll get playing time and experience as centre-half and I hope I’ll get this now”
While I won’t argue with the above benefits, I do question sending a player to play on an artificial surface that has been heavily criticised by the club as recent as this season. I’m also almost certain that had Celtic put out the word about wanting the player to get defensive experience, it wouldn’t have been just Kilmarnock vying for his signature.
In my opinion, the catalyst for this loan deal is geographical in nature. Speaking about the move Ajer spoke of the convenience of it.
“I’ll stay in same apartment as now as Kilmarnock is not far from Glasgow.”
While off the field this is a massive benefit, I can’t help but think that his obvious talents could be utilised better somewhere else
The nature of Kilmarnock’s signing policy seems to be, bring in anyone that will come.
The Rugby Park side recently struck out trying to bring Eoghan O’Connell to the club on-loan, who instead opted to head down to Walsall.
The good thing about this loan deal for me is we’ll be able to easily track Kristoffer’s progress the rest of the season.
He is a tremendous talent and someone who I personally feel should be around the first team and should be looking to kick on in the next 12-18 months to become a Celtic regular. Let’s hope the grittiness of defending for Kilmarnock will pay off.