Johnston Capture Underlines Celtic's Forward Planning
Celtic have announced the signing of Canada right-back Alistair Johnston on a 5-year deal from CF Montreal. The deal for the 24 year old is believed to be in the region of £3.5m. After speculation developed in the last 10 days over Celtic's interest in the player, the fans have been keeping a keen eye on Canada's World Cup Group Stage games to see Johnston in action.
With 34 caps for Canada, the full back has had a sharp rise since leaving Nashville in a $800k deal just over a year ago. He seems to fit the mould of an Ange Postecoglou signing - young, lots of potential, coming from a lesser known market - and it'll be intriguing to see how he fits into the Celtic squad. At the time of writing the club now have 3 first-team right-backs available, with the Canadian joining Josip Juranovic and Anthony Ralston.
It's widely expected that Johnston will be the long-term replacement for Juranovic - who has been linked with a move away from Celtic. Juranovic joined the club from Legia Warsaw in August 2021 for around £2.5m, but with three and a half years to run on his contract the Celtic hierarchy are in a strong negotiating position should the links be followed up.
Last week on Celtic Fans TV we spoke to Chris, from Canada, about what Alistair Johnston would bring to the Celtic squad. Chris has watched Johnston closely for Canada and saw him play in the MLS against Toronto. Johnston's ability to get up and down the pitch is clear for anyone that has watched him and with 4 goals & 4 assists in the MLS in the last year - he can pose a threat going forward. You can watch the full video below:
Celtic have now completed two permanent signings before the January window has officially opened. This underlines the club's commitment to forward planning, in terms of recruitment, something that has improved markedly since Ange Postecoglou took over last year. Johnston is the latest in a long line of Celtic recruits to reference the conversation with the manager being a huge factor in his decision to join the club.
The deal does also beg the question - how many more players will Celtic be looking to bring in during the winter window? Although, perhaps more pertinently, which players - if any - will have to go out to keep the club's player trading model thriving?