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Compper insists Celtic defender Ajer can match Van Dijk

Former Celtic defender Martin Compper says Kristoffer Ajer has the ability to emulate Virgil van Dijk.

Ajer has recently been linked with Leicester City, Manchester City and Everton.

And Compper has backed him to succeed in the Premier League just like former Celtic defender van Dijk.

"Kris Ajer has all the tools to become one of the best defenders in the world," Compper told the Glasgow Times.

"Of course, there's a long way to go and a lot of development that has to take place. When I played in Leipzig there was a defender Dayot Upamecano who is the same age, as quick as Kris and almost as tall, but you make the comparison.

"Upamecano played earlier in a league where you have to be at your best every week. He had to develop quicker. But you can see with Kris in international games, the task is harder and he's had to bring his A-game.

"In the Scottish league he can play at 60 or 70 percent which can make development harder and it can take more time to develop. But Kris has everything, the speed, the physicality and technique. He's smart and picks up things he's able to learn and adapt, so he has all the tools. It will come down to the tasks he gives himself.

"When you think of Celtic defenders you always come back to Virgil van Dijk, he made the correct decisions to improve his development and look where he is now.

"For Kris that will be the goal, to make these steps. He might become one of the best, it's possible, he's confident to want to achieve that, but there's a long way to go and a lot of hurdles to jump.

"Knowing what's already there and what he might be capable of, it's a lot."

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Paul Vegas

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