As Celtic lurch from one disappointing game to another, Neil Lennon must be desperately searching for ways to get his side back to winning ways.
The Hoops have completely fallen out of the title picture already, finding themselves a whopping 21 points behind arch-rivals and leaders Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
Lennon’s side face Livingston tonight looking to regain some much-needed momentum, and Kristoffer Ajer may be the man to come in and bring some stability back.
The 6 foot 6 centre-back has been linked with a move away from Celtic, and has had to miss the last two games in the Scottish Premiership after being forced to quarantine.
Now that its over, Lennon may look to recall the £3.6m-rated man, and instead drop the woeful Shane Duffy. Celtic’s summer signing has been in awful form since arriving from Brighton on a season-long loan, not least a shocking cameo in the Old Firm clash against Rangers earlier this month.
In Ajer, they would get someone who’s been the closest thing to a Virgil van Dijk since the Dutchman made the move south of the border to join Southampton.
Speaking earlier this season, Alex McLeish said: “I go back to that St Johnstone game, you see sometimes when it’s not going for Celtic and the game’s in its dying embers, and then all of a sudden you see Ajer striding up the pitch trying to inspire like Roy of the Rovers.
“Running from defence, augment the attack and then it leads to a goal – these are inspirational moments and he is an inspirational, influential player for Celtic.”
Ajer’s teammate and fellow centre-back partner Christopher Jullien described him as a “unique talent“, and it’s no surprise given his incredible size but elegance on the ball when he brings it out from defence.
A clean sheet against Livingston last time out might leave Lennon feeling he should stick to the same back-four, but Ajer’s return could allow the Hoops to play out from the back instead of someone like Shane Duffy hoofing it into row Z.
Retaining possession and starting counter-attacks from the back could be key to ensuring they don’t draw another blank against Livingston tonight, and Ajer’s extra composure from the heart of defence could be key.