Why Real Madrid signing Kristoffer Ajer will be a good move
As per a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo (h/t Daily Mail), Real Madrid are eyeing a summer swoop for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, but face competition from the likes of Manchester City, PSG and Leicester City.
The 22-year-old Ajer spent the majority of his youth career at Raelingen FK and Lillestrom SK in his homeland of Norway. In 2014, he signed for another Norwegian outfit IK Start, where he made 61 appearances, scoring 14 goals.
Ajer joined Celtic in the summer of 2016 and the 22-year-old has grown into a key player for the Hoops in recent years. Till date, Ajer has made 129 appearances for the Scottish champions, scoring 5 goals and assisting 3 more.
Real Madrid have had a fairly solid season so far, although they have been inconsistent on occasions. At the time of the season suspension, Zinedine Zidane’s side were second in the La Liga table, two points below leaders Barcelona.
Defensively, Los Blancos have improved majorly over the course of the 2019/20 campaign. So far this term, they have conceded just 19 goals in 27 matches, which is the best defensive record in the competition. Based on this, it doesn’t seem like they are in need of defensive reinforcements heading into the summer.
Real Madrid need a long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos
However, Eder Militao has failed to make the desired impact since arriving at the club last summer. And Done Balon (h/t Sun) claiming that the Brazilian could be sold this summer. In addition, club captain and legend Sergio Ramos turned 34 years old in March and will need to be slowly phased out of the first-team.
So bringing in a new centre-back, who can take over from Ramos in a year or two, should be something that Real Madrid should consider this summer. Having said that, signing Ajer would be a good move for the Merengues.
Ajer spent his first season at the club with the U19s and was then loaned out briefly to Kilmarnock. Since 2017, the defender has been an integral part of Celtic’s utter domination in the domestic footballing scenes in Scotland.
The 22-year-old has already won three Scottish Premiership titles, three Scottish League Cups and two Scottish FA Cups. He was a permanent fixture in the Hoops’ 2019/20 title triumph, featuring in 49 matches across all competitions, bagging four goals and creating two.
A regular for the Norwegian national team, Ajer has racked up 14 international appearances as well. Signing him would add greater depth to the centre-back department at Real Madrid. It would also provide them with a centre-back who has already developed a title-winning mentality and gathered loads of experience at just 22 years of age.
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Ajer is enjoying an upward trend in his career graph at Celtic. The 22-year-old has grown into one of the best defenders in the Scottish domestic football. He has played a key role in the Hoops’ dominance since he became a first-team member.
Signing someone of his ilk would not only help Real Madrid in the immediate sense but would also enable them to have a replacement ready for Sergio Ramos, if and when the captain decides to call it a day.