Date: 22nd August 2019 at 8:00am
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EXCLUSIVE

Jackie McNamara has revealed his fears over Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer after seeing him forced off against Dunfermline through injury.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Parkhead and Scotland star says that the centre back is a vitally important player to Neil Lennon and to lose him would be a massive blow against AIK.

The Hoops take on the Swedish side in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier on Thursday, the game coming five days after the Bhoys’ 2-1 win over Dunfermline in the Scottish League Cup.

Having seen Ajer substituted clutching his shoulder after a fall, McNamara, who was watching on in person at Parkhead, admitted it was a concerning sight ahead of Thursday’s crunch clash.

Asked if he was worried for the Celtic star, McNamara told Football Insider: “Yeah, it looked a bit innocuous the way he fell and then puts his arm in his shirt as he walked across.

“Obviously a big player, important for Neil to have him playing, definitely. They (AIK) are a decent enough side to challenge Celtic and they need to be patient and make sure they’re not as open as the Cluj game.”

Ajer, 21, has started all but one of the club’s games across all competitions this season, remaining an unused substitute for the second leg against Nomme Kalju after a 5-0 win in the first game.

However, his injury problem forced him off with less than 15 minutes on regular time to play against Dunfermline as the Championship side took the Hoops to extra time at Parkhead.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can reveal that the club have agreed terms with a player who has turned down three Premier League sides.