Former Celtic defender Johan Mjallby has heaped praise on current Celtic Park star Kristoffer Ajer, saying he could reach the top just like Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, as reported by The Daily Record.
Mjallby of course worked extensively with the £67.5m-rated van Dijk (Transfermarkt) during the Dutchman’s spell at Celtic, serving as assistant manager to Neil Lennon.
Now he thinks Ajer, whose progress he has been following closely, could follow a similar path to the lauded Liverpool regulard.
As quoted by The Daily Record, the former Swedish international said:
I have heard rumours he may go to the Bundesliga. But I think he should definitely stay and become a Celtic stalwart before he even contemplates a move.
It would be good for his future to make sure he is a starter in every game here first, get him experience and the chance to improve his leadership qualities. He even has a chance of becoming a top, top player some day.
Remember Virgil van Dijk was probably further ahead when we brought him in but when you see him playing for Liverpool now with all his leadership qualities, it took him a while, not football wise, because he was too good even when he first came here.
He could definitely follow the same path as van Dijk if he stays. I’ve actually been waiting on him to explode to a certain degree. He caught my eye when he started to play.
Ajer ‘arrived’ in the minds of many supporters during the recent derby victory over Rangers, during which he displayed a maturity beyond his years to shine as one of the best players on the pitch.
It’s now up to the Norwegian cap to find consistency in his performances and emerge as the number one defensive choice on the teamsheet.
With Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic likely not being at Celtic Park next season, he has a massive opportunity to become our leader at the back and show everyone at home and abroad just what kind of potential he holds.
Still just 20 years of age, the sky is the limit.
How good do you think Kristoffer Ajer could become? Share your thoughts in the comments below…