Why Liverpool should continue their pursuit of Kristoffer Ajer
As per CelticUnderground (h/t Daily Star), Liverpool are interested in signing Celtic star Kristoffer Ajer ahead of the new campaign.
The report suggests that the Norwegian is valued at £20m by the Hoops and could make a move elsewhere after he refused to sign a new contract with the Scottish giants. However, the Reds could face competition to secure Ajer’s services as AC Milan and Leicester City are also keen on signing him.
Born in Norway, Ajer started his journey with Raelingen FC in his hometown before joining Lillestrom’s youth academy in 2008. However, he moved to IK Start in the summer of 2014 and after making 61 appearances for the Norwegian outfit, he was signed by the Hoops in 2016.
Initially, he struggled to receive regular game time and was sent on loan to Hibernian, where he improved himself went on to become a key figure of the squad since his return. He played a significant role in the club’s title-winning campaign last season, making 49 appearances across all competitions.
So far, he has won three league titles, two Scottish Cup titles and three Scottish League Cup titles and is one of the best defenders in the Premiership.
Ajer could provide depth to Liverpool’s defence
Jurgen Klopp’s men have been brilliant in the last two campaigns and one of the major reasons for winning the league title last season was the stability at the back. Dutchman Virgil van Dijk has been immovable at the back, leading the defence as they conceded just 33 goals in 38 goals – best record in the league.
However, Van Dijk has run out of partners at the heart of the defence. Joel Matip did a decent job for the Reds the Cameroonian has struggled with injuries. Since his return, he hasn’t been the same. Dejan Lovren partnered the former Southampton man in a few games but he was error-prone.
The Croatian’s departure last month has left with just Joe Gomez in central defence. Thus, they need to bring in centre-backs this summer.
In that regard, Ajer would be a fantastic addition to the squad. The Norwegian has been in sensational form for the Hoops in the last two campaigns and played a key role in conceding just 19 goals in the 2019/20 campaign. Despite his tender age, he has been an important member of the squad and has already made over 200 career appearances.
He could be a perfect replacement for Lovren and his inclusion would also bring in healthy competition, whilst also adding depth to Klopp’s squad. His experience could also help him settle to the tough conditions in England and the youngster should only get better under the guidance of someone like Klopp.
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With Lovren gone and Matip not at his best, it is necessary for the Reds to bring in a central defender if they are to stay strong once again. And Ajer could provide them with some much-needed depth and quality. He could also go on to represent them in the long run if he is able to continue doing what he does best.