By Noel Whelan

3rd Feb, 2021 | 7:00pm

Pundit View: 'Don't expect' colossus to be at Celtic next season after huge development

Missing out on Ben Davies is a huge blow for Celtic as giant defender Kristoffer Ajer won’t be at the club next season.

That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Liverpool gazumped the Hoops for Davies’ signature on deadline day.

The Preston defender held extensive talks over joining Celtic on a pre-contract but Liverpool stole in at the last minute with a £2milllion bid to sign him, as first revealed by Football Insider.

Whelan believes Davies would have improved Neil Lennon’s backline and the Celtic hierarchy need to ring the changes ahead of next season if they want to compete.

Whelan told Football Insider: “Well look, defensively they’ve been woeful this season so I think any help they could have got would have been great…

“They thought they were getting a good player [Davies] from a very good, competitive league in the Championship at the right age, for nothing. It was a no brainer.

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“They need help in that department because Duffy’s not been good enough. Kristoffer Ajer, in my opinion, wants to leave anyway, he’s already come out and said it at the beginning of the season so don’t expect him to be there.

“I think these are the changes and the development is already happening in place for next season to see Ajer leave the club, and other defenders and another players and faces that have been there for a long time now.

“I think there’s going to be big changes at Celtic in the summertime, I really do. I think they’re gonna have to be ruthless and get rid of the players that have been chapping on Neil Lennon’s door asking to leave.”

Ajer, who joined Celtic in January 2016, has been persistently linked with a move to AC Milan.

Duffy has had a calamitous campaign so far and is widely presumed to be heading back to Brighton after his loan deal finishes.

In other news, a former Parkhead man has delivered his verdict on Ajer’s performances this season.