Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

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Age will not be barrier to new Celtic signing Kristoffer Ajer

By Gavin McCafferty

Published 18/02/2016

Hot prospect: 17-year-old Kristoffer Ajer will officially join Celtic
in June
Hot prospect: 17-year-old Kristoffer Ajer will officially join Celtic in June

New signing Kristoffer Ajer will finish school and take his driving test before joining Celtic - but he aims to prove himself quickly on the pitch once he arrives.

The 17-year-old midfielder has signed a four-year contract with the Scottish champions, which begins in June, after flying in from IK Start's pre-season training camp in Alicante to tie up a move.

Ajer is a first-team regular in his homeland and feels he is ready to make the step up.

"I will take my driving licence and finish my second grade of high school," he said.

"I have many things to do back in Norway and I will help my team do well in the first half of the season.

"I'm only 17 years old and I have already achieved one of my biggest dreams. I can't wait to start here at this big club and develop as a player.

"I'm a full member of the A squad and I need to prove myself. I need to develop and be good in training and the playing time I get. Time will show, but hopefully I will play a lot.

"I have played almost 50 matches in the Premiership in Norway and I felt I was ready to come to a big club like this, one of the greatest clubs in the world."

Ajer is confident he will cope with the pressure of playing for Celtic and starting life in a new country.

"My parents have always told me to keep my feet on the ground and never think you are better than anyone else," he said.

"You have to prove yourself and I come here as a 17-year-old that no-one has heard of. I need to play good football and prove myself.

"I come here as a 17-year-old from Norway and I don't think many expect much, but I expect much from myself."

Ajer impressed during a week's trial at Lennoxtown in January and will compete with the likes of Nir Bitton and Scott Brown for a place.

"I'm a holding midfielder who likes to be on the ball and win it back again," he said.

"I've had many role models that I have seen on YouTube such as Patrick Vieira. At Celtic here you have holding midfielders who are so good and I have to learn from them."

Ajer's introduction will be helped by having compatriot Ronny Deila in charge, if the former Stromsgodset manager comes through a difficult spell in his reign.

"Ronny is a great manager back in Norway and he has won the Premiership there," Ajer said. "He is the manager now and that's what is important. You don't know what will happen, but Ronny is a great manager and I'm sure he will be manager for a long time."

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