Celtic ran out comfortable 3-1 winners against Hearts yesterday to maintain their excellent start to their domestic campaign. The Bhoys now have three wins from three games at the start of the campaign after two goals credited to Vakoun Isouff Bayo sandwiched Callum McGregor’s fine strike.
But one player who really caught the eye was Norwegian defender Kristoffer Ajer. Asked to play in an unfamiliar right-back role yet again, he put in a sensational display to peg Hearts back throughout the game.
Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner was certainly impressed. The BBC Sport commentator heaped praise upon the defender for his excellent display.
“Kristoffer Ajer had so much space and time to run up and down the right flank. Nobody confronted him whatsoever. Surely Hearts should have made changes to deal with that.”
Meanwhile, former Hearts and Rangers winger Neil McCann compared him to Brazilian legend Cafu.
“Kristoffer Ajer is looking like Cafu here. He is bombing up and down the right flank and has the freedom of Celtic Park.”
Ajer has been asked to play at right-back on occasions this season with Celtic short in the position. Mikael Lustig left the club in the summer and whilst Hatem Abd Elhamed has arrived, the Israeli international is nursing an injury at present.
So Ajer, who has already converted from a central midfielder into a centre-back, has been showing off his versatility again this season and was in fine form against Hearts yesterday.
There is talk that Celtic could still be in the market for another right-back as well as a new left-back but if Ajer is able to perform like this consistently, it seems there is no need for the Bhoys to strengthen at all.