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Pies and Haggis- The special ingredients that led to former Celtic defender bulking up 13kg!

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Kris Ajer has revealed the role that pies and haggis played in turning a skinny midfielder into a centre-half ready to face the best strikers in the EPL.

Last week it was Liverpool, today it is West Ham as the Norwegian sets off on the next stage of his career that really kicked on when Brendan Rodgers switched Ajer’s position then sent him on loan to Kilmarnock to adapt to the demands of the Scottish game.

Celtic’s central defence has constantly been evolving with Erik Sviatchenko, Jozo Simunovic, Dedryk Boyata and Chris Jullien among those that Ajer played with.

In the spring of 2016, in the final weeks of Ronny Deila’s reign the teenager arrived in Scotland to a whole new environment. Many Celtic projects sink without trace but as he told The Sun some local delicacies played their part in his transformation.

Glasgow was a huge step for me. I went there as a very young guy to a city that’s football mad. I absolutely loved it but it was a very challenging period.

I had never played centre-half in my whole life but I think from the first day in Celtic I was training as a centre-half. I came to a massive club that wants the top every single day. At the beginning, I wasn’t ready for the quality needed to play for Celtic.

I went out on loan, six months to Kilmarnock, and learned how to play centre-half. I came back and then felt more ready.

When I came to Celtic, I played as a No?10 and weighed 82.3kg on my first day at Celtic. When I came back a year later, I was 95kg. It was a lot of Scotch pies and haggis and training and then I was ready to play centre-half.

I understood I had to change a lot about body type and the way I played. I was a more offensive player. To be a centre-half, especially in the UK, you really have to be very physical.

Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers have been brought in to replace Ajer with his £13m transfer fee going a long way to funding the new look squad under Ange Postecoglou.

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