Kris Ajer has come in for criticism from Frank McAvennie, amid transfer links to Newcastle United.

The Celtic central defender is supposedly on the Magpies radar for this summer, with the Daily Mail having reported recently that the club are looking to make an £8 million bid.

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Kris Ajer (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ajer is widely regarded as one of the better defenders in Scotland.

But the Norway international has not impressed ex-Hoops striker McAvennie, who said (via The Herald): “Ajer might go to a league where there is not much heading the ball.

“Unfortunately it’s part of football and I’ve never seen a centre-half that doesn’t want to head the ball. I can’t work it out. He’s 6ft 5ins and doesn’t want to head it.”

Hibernian v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Kris Ajer (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With Federico Fernandez out of contract in the summer, a move for a new centre-half could well be on the agenda for Newcastle.

 

Currently there are no options that are on the younger side for Steve Bruce.

Warning signs over Ajer?

According to WhoScored statistics, Ajer has actually averaged 3.2 aerial duels won per 90 in the Scottish Premiership so far.

For some context, that’s a higher average than Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar, but lower than Ciaran Clark (3.5 per 90).

Celtic v Aberdeen - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Kris Ajer (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Perhaps more dominance is expected of Ajer given he is 6ft 5in.

McAvennie’s comments are a slight concern, but signing him for around £8 million – which is probably unlikely – would still be a great deal for the Magpies.

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