How Parkhead sensation responds to physical battle will decide how far he will go at Celtic
Celtic’s teenage centre-back Kristoffer Ajer has had rave reviews since he replaced Jozo Simunovic at the heart of the Hoops defence.
His centre-back partnership with Dedryck Boyata had kept six clean sheets before the goal conceded in the 2-1 win over Partick.
The game against Partick was Ajer’s most difficult in a Hoops jersey so far, as he found Conor Sammon very difficult to cope with.
The big striker bullied and harassed Ajer until he was substituted in the second-half, when Ajer started to play well.
Ajer’s difficulties may have influenced Brendan Rodgers’ thinking in giving Simunovic his first game time since the 4-0 defeat to Hearts, as he formed a back three partnership with Ajer and Boyata.
It will be interesting to see if the Parkhead sensation starts Saturday’s match against Hibs, or if Simunovic will make an unexpected return to first-team duties.
If Ajer keeps his place in the team, the Hoops manager will be recognising that all defenders have players that they struggle against.
If Ajer loses his place in the side, perhaps Brendan Rodgers doesn’t think he is ready for three games in a week yet.
It’s going to be an intriguing few weeks for the Celtic defence, which could look very different from what it looked like at the start of the season when the transfer window closes.
In other Celtic news, Leigh Griffiths has admitted that he can’t let his lack of playing time get him annoyed
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