Newcastle transfer news: Verdict on Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer

  • Tom Kelly
Kristoffer Ajer celebrating with his Celtic teammate

Newcastle United are reportedly interested in bringing Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer to St. James' Park in the summer. 

A few weeks ago, relegation appeared to be a genuine threat for Newcastle but the club now sit eight points above the bottom three. 

Although, mathematically speaking, they aren't out of the relegation woods just yet, it does seem likely that we will see the Geordies in the Premier League for another season. 

Therefore, Steve Bruce and the Newcastle hierarchy can begin to plan for the next campaign and the Magpies are reportedly interested in Celtic defender Ajer, according to CaughtOffside

The 23-year-old has been particularly impressive during his time in Scotland and has made over 170 senior appearances for the Glasgow club. 

Newcastle are reportedly keen to bring the Norwegian, who is a physical a colossus at 6ft 6in, south of the border, while Premier League-bound side Norwich City are also interested. 

However, will Ajer have what it takes to feature in the English top-flight, and could he be a success at Newcastle? 

GIVEMESPORT's Tom Kelly, Jonathan Gorrie, Josh Cole, and Sam Brookes offer their verdicts. 

Tom Kelly

"Newcastle need to aim higher. 

"This season was a rather large awakening for a new Newcastle side that has flirted dangerously with relegation. Given the stature of the football club, the possibility of relegation shouldn't even creep into the minds of the supporters. 

"Ajer is undoubtedly an exciting talent that has proven himself in the Scottish Premiership, but Newcastle need a strong central defender with Premier League experience. The Magpies can't wait around for a player who might turn into a top defender. They need quality and they need it now. 

"If Bruce is on the hunt for another defender, he needs to look beyond Ajer." 

Jonathan Gorrie 

"Ajer doesn't need Newcastle United.

"This version of Newcastle United, anyway.

"Described as a 'hollow shell' by their greatest-ever player in Alan Shearer, Ajer has previously been linked with the likes of Leicester and even AC Milan.

"Rather than leaving Celtic for Newcastle, he'd be best off assessing his options and waiting to see if he could get a better move.

"After helping Celtic to so much success, he doesn't need mid-table mediocrity."

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Josh Cole

"With Newcastle needing to bolster their squad this summer following what has been an underwhelming campaign in the Premier League, a move for Ajer may turn out to be somewhat of a masterstroke by Bruce.

"One of the only shining lights in a poor season for Celtic, the Norwegian has illustrated a great deal of versatility during his career as he has been able to play both as a central defender and as a right-back.

"Whilst Newcastle are well stocked in the centre-back position due to the presence of Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez, the departure of DeAndre Yedlin has weakened them at right-back and thus Ajer's arrival could resolve this issue as Bruce is currently having to play Jacob Murphy as a makeshift full-back.

"Providing that he is able to replicate the displays which have seen him average an impressive WhoScored rating of 7.16 for Celtic, the 23-year-old could emerge as a pivotal player at St. James' Park in the coming seasons."

Sam Brookes

"This should be an easy decision for Newcastle.

"Defensively, they have been poor this season, conceding 53 goals in the Premier League. They need a reliable presence at the back. Ajer is the man for the job.

"Despite only being 23, he has already made 173 appearances for Celtic, and received 21 caps for Norway. This experience would be invaluable for Newcastle, who have looked all over the place at the back at times in 2020/21.

"A commanding figure is desperately required at St James’ Park, and Ajer has proven in the SPFL that he can be a dominant force, having won three league titles with Celtic.

"Don’t overthink this, Newcastle. Just get the deal done!"

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