St Johnstone’s Craig Bryson admits that he expects ‘a lot of interest’ in team-mate Ali McCann, who’s been watched by Celtic.
The Sunday Post’s print edition (via Glasgow Live) reported that Celtic would send scouts to run the rule over 21-year-old McCann as St Johnstone faced St Mirren in the semifinals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.
It was the Northern Irishman’s 42nd appearance of the season for The Saints.
McCann has averaged 2.7 tackles per 90 in the Scottish Premiership this season, the joint-most in the division alongside Kilmarnock’s Gary Dicker and Hamilton’s Scott Martin.
Add to that 1.5 interceptions and 1.7 successful aerial duels per game (via WhoScored). He’s also contributed in an attacking sense with four direct goal contributions (two goals, two assists).
Earlier this month, Glasgow Times journalist Aidan Smith wrote that McCann was ‘widely tipped to be in the running for the young player of the year award’, while former St Johnstone midfielder Jason Holt labelled him ‘undroppable’.
34-year-old veteran midfielder Bryson was effusive in his praise of McCann. He recognises the likelihood that he moves onto ‘bigger and better things’, but hopes that comes at the right time for St Johnstone.
“I’ve seen the high standards he sets in training every day,” he told the Glasgow Times.
“You know what you’re going to get every game.
“He understands his role in the team.
“The gaffer sometimes gets annoyed because he’s got too much energy and wants to run about too much.
“He’s got a massive future ahead of him.
“Hopefully he’ll move onto bigger and better things when the time is right for him at St Johnstone.
“You know the gaffer and the team are doing something right when players are getting linked with other clubs.
“I hope they stay, but I can see there being a lot of interest in Ali.”
Could Celtic’s rebuild their team around the best young talents in the country?
David Turnbull, a Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year nominee, has been a shining light at Parkhead this season.
And they’ve also been linked with the winner of that award, Josh Doig – now they have eyes on the hugely impressive McCann.
An agreement has already been reached with 20-year-old Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Liam Shaw, so perhaps we are already seeing the start of a long-term rebuild at Celtic Park.
In other news, read a Scottish football legend’s verdict on Turnbull.
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