In my role as Norwegian national team manager on FM21, I need to keep tabs on how my Golden Generation are performing. I’ll be creating separate posts to track the key players who’ll play a big part for the national side while I’m in charge.
Celtic might be getting absolutely panned for their defensive performances at the moment in the non-FM world, but Kristoffer Ajer is still Norway’s best defender on FM21.
The talented, and versatile, 22-year-old is wanted by a raft of English Premier League clubs at the outset. If you’re managing a bigger club with a bit of money, I’d get in there early. He’s definitely got “mainstay in your central defence or defensive midfield” about him.
He’s the eptiome of a ball playing defender on the game I would say. Ajer has decent defensive attributes, though he could improve his positioning and concentration. He excels with the ball at his feet. 15 passing, 15 vision and the tries to play his way out of trouble trait.
He’s a natural leader as well, with 16 leadership, coupled with a driven personality and 18 determination. Future Norway captain? He’s labelled the next Brede Hangeland at the moment, which I think is a bit offensive. His ceiling is far higher than that.
End of 2020/21
Ajer moved from Celtic to Manchester United at the end of the January transfer window for just under £20m. I’ve slightly tweaked my attribute colour thresholds now since the start of the save so he looks even better than he was on first glance. Looking closer, he’s improved in some key areas. His Heading, Tackling and Leadership have improved by one attribute point, along with his Speed attributes too.
He’s an ever-present at the back for me so far for the Norwegian National Team and he’s chipped in with six goals as well. He’s actually been playing more as a Deep Lying Playmaker for United, but has appeared in defence too. He made 19 appearances (14 in the league) over the course of the second half of the season for the English Premier League side as they finished runner up to their city rivals.
I can see the big man going on to cement his position as a mainstay in that United team, just as I predicted he would at the beginning of the save.
End of 2021/22 Season
Ajer had a fine season at Old Trafford, appearing 30 times in the Premier League, scoring once and providing six assists with an average rating of 7.04. That was in spite of the poor season United had overall. Ole lost his job after a Champions League first knockout round exit against Bayern Munich and they stumbled to a 5th place finish.
Ajer’s been moved back to the centre of defence this season as opposed to when he first joined United and he was operating as a Deep Lying Playmaker. There hasn’t been attribute growth across the season. He’s improved his Passing but has got lazier, with his Work Rate dropping a point.
End of 2022/23 Season
Ajer was solid in defence for Manchester United across the season. They snuck into Champions League qualifying, finishing 4th in the Premier League, and they won the Europa League.
Interestingly though, Ajer is currently wanted by Barcelona. Could he be tempted by a move to Spain?
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