CELTIC defender Kristoffer Ajer has been overlooked among the nominees for Scotland’s PFA Young Player of the Year award.

And Hoops Youth coach Stephen McManus reckons the centre-half has been snubbed because people forget how young the Norwegian is .

Ajer turned 21 just a fortnight ago and has played 44 games for the champions this season and has been a key player as the team zero in on a historic treble treble.

Former Celtic and Scotland international centre-back McManus, speaking in the Evening Times, said: “Kristoffer has been terrific and is a modern-day defender.

“He is one of those guys at our club when you forget how young they are.

MAIN MAN…Kristoffer Ajer has settled into central defence.

“Kristoffer steps into the game well, picks passes and he is becoming the dominant one in both boxes. He had to earn his stripes on loan at Kilmarnock and I think that helped him.

“I believe the quicker you expose young players to first-team football, the better. If that is at Celtic, or on loan, we need to expose them to senior football as soon as we can.”

McManus added: “There are a lot of talented young players in this county and at Celtic it is our job to keep producing these players.

“The more players we have got playing week in week out, and in European nights, can only help the Scotland national team.”

Ajer, who was originally brought to Glasgow by his countryman Ronny Deila as a midfielder, has settled in well to life in the middle of the rearguard.

Dedryck Boyata is poised to quit the club when his contract expires in the summer while Filip Benkovic will return to Leicester City at the end of his season-long loan deal.

Norwegian international Ajer will become an important fixture in the champions’ defence as they plan for the future.

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