Kristoffer Ajer

Kristoffer Vassbakk Ajer (born 17 April 1998) is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays for Scottish Premiership club Celtic. Ajer has previously played for Start in the Tippeligaen.

Kristoffer Ajer
Cel-Zen (5) (cropped).jpg
Ajer playing for Celtic in 2018
Personal information
Full name Kristoffer Vassbakk Ajer[1]
Date of birth (1998-04-17) 17 April 1998 (age 23)
Place of birth Rælingen, Norway
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)[2]
Position(s) Centre-back[3]
Club information
Current team
Celtic
Number 35
Youth career
0000–2009 Rælingen
2010–2014 Lillestrøm
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2016 Start 54 (9)
2016– Celtic 111 (4)
2017Kilmarnock (loan) 16 (0)
National team
2014 Norway U16 12 (1)
2015 Norway U17 2 (1)
2015 Norway U18 10 (6)
2016 Norway U19 6 (3)
2017–2018 Norway U21 5 (0)
2018– Norway 23 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 March 2021
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 June 2021

Club careerEdit

Ajer was born in Norway[4] and he started his career with Rælingen FK before joining Lillestrøm when he was 11 years old.[5]

Ajer began his career at Start in 2014 as a result of his parents moving to Kristiansand.[5] He made his debut for Start on 19 July 2014 in a 2–1 win against Bodø/Glimt.[6]

At 16 years of age, Ajer captained Start in a 1–1 draw against Lillestrøm on 7 April 2015, becoming the youngest ever footballer to captain a team in the Tippeligaen.[7]

In early January 2016, Ajer had a one-week trial with Scottish club Celtic.[8] On 17 February 2016, he signed a four-year contract with Celtic and joined the club in June 2016 for a fee which could rise up to £650,000.[9][10] He was loaned to Kilmarnock in January 2017 but has since returned to his parent club where he has become a mainstay in central defence.[11] On 14 May 2018, Ajer penned a new four-year deal with Celtic.[12] On 30 August, Ajer scored his first goal for Celtic in a 3–0 win against FK Sūduva.[13]

On 24 October 2019, Ajer made his 100th appearance in all competitions for Celtic's first team in a Europa League match against Lazio.

International careerEdit

On 13 March 2018, he was called up for the first time in the senior national team, ahead of the friendly matches against Australia and Albania, scheduled for the following 23 and 26 March respectively. He made his debut on 23 March, in a 4–1 victory over the Australia national team.

Career statisticsEdit

As of 7 March 2021[14][15]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club   Season   League Domestic Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Start 2014 Tippeligaen 13 1 0 0 13 1
2015 30 8 2 4 2 0 34 12
2016 11 0 3 1 14 1
Total 54 9 5 5 0 0 0 0 2 0 61 14
Celtic 2016–17 Scottish Premiership 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2017–18 24 0 5 0 1 0 4 0 34 0
2018–19 28 0 4 0 3 0 10 1 45 1
2019–20 28 3 3 0 4 0 15 1 50 4
2020–21 31 1 0 0 1 0 8 0 40 1
Total 111 4 12 0 9 0 38 2 0 0 170 6
Kilmarnock (loan) 2016–17 Scottish Premiership 16 0 1 0 0 0 17 0
Career total 181 13 17 5 9 0 38 2 2 0 248 20

InternationalEdit

As of match played 6 June 2021
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Norway 2018 6 0
2019 8 0
2020 5 0
2021 4 0
Total 23 0

HonoursEdit

Celtic[14]

Individual

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kristoffer Vassbakk Ajer" (in Norwegian). Football Association of Norway. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Kristoffer Vassbakk Ajer". Norwegian Football Federation.
  3. ^ "New Celtic signing reveals his favoured position".
  4. ^ "Kristoffer Ajer". Celtic F.C. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Drømmen oppfylles i feil drakt". Romerikets Blad. 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ Johnsen, Sture (19 July 2014). "Start-Bodø/Glimt: 2-1 (0-0)". IK Start. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  7. ^ Nash, Matthew (7 June 2015). "Tottenham and Liverpool chasing Norwegian wonderkid Kristoffer Ajer". HITC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  8. ^ "PKristoffer Ajer: Celtic take Norwegian midfielder on trial". BBC. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Kristoffer Ajer signs four-year deal with Celtic". www.celticfc.net. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  10. ^ "The hard bargaining that brought Kristoffer Ajer to Celtic". www.heraldscotland.com. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Kilmarnock sign Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer on loan". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Kristoffer Ajer: Celtic defender signs new four-year contract". BBC Sport. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  13. ^ http://www.celticfc.net/news/14865
  14. ^ a b "Kristoffer Ajer". Soccerbase. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Kristoffer Ajer". altomfotball.no (in Norwegian). TV 2. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Celtic champions & Hearts relegated after SPFL ends season". BBC Sport. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  17. ^ Celtic win fourth straight Scottish Cup as Hazard's shootout saves break Hearts, Ewan Murray, The Guardian, 20 December 2020
  18. ^ "Rangers 0 – 1 Celtic". BBC Sport. 8 December 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  19. ^ "James Forrest, Steve Clarke & Ryan Kent win PFA Scotland annual awards". BBC Sport. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.

External linksEdit