Former Toon midfielder Lee Clark believes Newcastle should up their reported interest in Celtic’s Kris Ajer – a centre-back he’s compared to Phillipe Albert.
Ajer – a man mountain at 6ft 6′ – has been capped 19 times for Norway despite being just 22-years old, while playing over 100 times for the Scottish giants since being signed by Brandon Rodgers in 2016.
Recent reports have linked the defender with AC Milan, but Clark believes Newcastle should be making a move this summer – provided we stay up!
Here is what he told the Daily Record:
“Kris is an outstanding player and I really feel for the Old Firm because it’s tough for them to compete with smaller clubs in bigger leagues.
“They have such a worldwide fan base and when I managed up there it really hit home how big the two clubs are but they can’t compete financially with the giants in Europe.
“I just hope they can get to the level where they can be competitive in the Champions League and keep a hold of the likes of Kris Ajer.
“Well, maybe not in Kris’s case specifically because he’s been linked with Newcastle United in some north east media outlets!
“So with my Newcastle United fans head on I hope that happens! My mates have all been asking me about him since he was mentioned and I told them if it comes off we’ll be getting a real top player.
“But I’m not sure we’re in the market for a player of his value with the money that would be involved to land a player of his ability.
“I played with Darren Peacock who was similar in terms of size but he was more of an old-school centre half, physical and strong and Kris Ajer is more in the mould of his partners Steve Howey and Philippe Albert who were ball-playing defenders.
“He has turned into an excellent, accomplished centre back for a huge club like Celtic and obviously the Norwegian international team.
“You’ve got to have a big character to play for Celtic or Rangers. You can’t just be a good footballer. You have to be a big personality, especially if you’re going to play for them when they’re successful.”
It is unclear how much he would cost, but a 6ft 6′, ball-playing centre half who has bags of experience at a young age doesn’t come around very often, with some comparing him to former Celtic star Virgil Van Dijk.
With a few of our current CB’s either nearing or in their 30’s and the likes of Schar and Fernandez out of contract this summer as things stand, the signing of a quality young centre half could be exactly what we need this summer.
Let’s just hope we survive and make signings like this possible!