The former manager of Celtic star Kristoffer Ajer has backed Neil Lennon’s decision to deploy him in the right-back position in recent games.
As quoted by Sun Sport, Mons Ivar Mjelde-who was the Norwegian’s first manager at IK Start – spoke about the talent that the Celtic number 35 has and even went as far to say the central defensive position bores him, so he will be enjoying his spell elsewhere.
“Kristoffer had so much talent at 16 that we could have played him anywhere on the pitch.
“Defence, midfield, striker, winger — it wouldn’t have mattered. He loved football and his size and athleticism made him fit in well across so many different positions.
“At 16, he was ready to play first-team football and I had to decide where to use him. Due to his size, he was probably always going to end up as a centre-back but he had too much energy to play there.
“I used him mostly in the No 10 position as an attacking midfielder. He also played striker from time to time. Kristoffer scored a lot of goals for Start and I loved seeing how enthusiastic he was about the game.
“He has matured over the years and he is now a top-class central defender for Celtic and Norway. But deep down, I think playing in that position probably bores him a little bit. So Kristoffer will love the freedom of playing at right-back for Celtic. He will feel like a kid again.”
Ajer has put in a couple of good performances, not only this season but also last season in the right-back position. He managed to score two goals from there against Aberdeen and Motherwell.
Lennon certainly has a decision to make for tomorrow’s final, when it comes to where he plays Ajer. Is he willing to take more of a risk and continue with the 22-year old there or will he go back to his more natural position at the club at centre-back?