Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer has identified Paolo Maldini and Henrik Larsson as his football idols during his years growing up 

The 19-year-old centre-back has firmly established himself as a regular in Brendan Rodgers’ squad this term after spending the second half of last season on loan at Kilmarnock.

The young Norwegian has started Celtic’s last eight league games and has become an integral figure in the squad despite his tender years.

A centre-back with ball playing abilities, the youngster revealed that he has modelled his game on his footballing hero Maldini, the AC Milan and Italy defensive legend.

Asked to identify his football idol in a Twitter Q&A, Ajer said: “I’d have to go for Paolo Maldini. His style of play really inspired me.”  

The defender also revealed that fellow Swede and Celtic legend Larsson was also a huge part of his time growing up and remains his favourite player to don the Bhoys shirt.

Asked to identify his favourite Celtic player, the youngster said: “Henrik Larsson. Fellow Scandinavian and was unbelievable here.”

Celtic signed Ajer from IK Start in the summer of 2016 and he has already turned in 19 senior appearances for the club.

The defender is also a regular for Norway Under-21s.

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