FORMER Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer has singled out one member of the coaching department at Parkhead that the centre-half says was crucial to his development.

The Norwegian moved to Glasgow in 2016 as a teenager and spent five years in Scotland before moving to Brentford last summer.

Speaking to the Premier League outfit's website, Ajer said that his stint at Celtic helped him to become the player he is today as the 24-year-old reserved special praise for John Kennedy.

“My parents lived with me for my first six months in Scotland, which meant everything,” he said.

“I had to transition from being a young boy playing every minute back home in Norway, to not playing a minute at Celtic.

“It was an important period for me to understand the rhythm of First Team football at a top club. For six months, I basically slept at the training ground.

“I worked so hard with John Kennedy, the first team coach at Celtic. Next to my dad, he’s been the most important person for my development. He helped me so much.

“When I came to Celtic, I did a sprint test and did well. Brendan Rodgers wanted defenders who were comfortable on the ball, so that’s why the change happened.

“I grew up playing in midfield - I thought it would help with my development - but I always knew I’d eventually become a centre-half.

“Perhaps the transition happened a little quicker than I thought, but it was fantastic. Brendan has been so influential on my whole career. He was very clear on what I needed to do and the areas I needed to develop.”