St Johnstone starlet Ali McCann isn’t ‘ready’ to make a move to Celtic, Frank McAvennie has warned.
The 21-year-old made 31 Premiership appearances for St Johnstone in the 2020/21 season and also helped them win the Scottish Cup earlier this month.
The Northern Irishman averaged 2.7 tackles per game in the league, the joint-most alongside Kilmarnock’s Gary Dicker and Hamilton’s Scott Martin (via WhoScored). He also recorded 1.5 interceptions, 0.8 key passes and 0.9 shots per game from his central midfield berth, earning a nomination for the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year Award.
The Daily Record reported last week that Celtic have identified McCann as an option ahead of the summer transfer window. He has two years left on his contract and is valued at £630,000 by Transfermarkt.
McAvennie reckons the move would come too soon for McCann, and he feels that Celtic need to focus on bringing in more established names.
The 61-year-old told Football Insider: “To be honest, I don’t think he’s ready for Celtic. He’s one for the future.
“Celtic are going to try and sign players who can walk into any team and stay there. That’s my problem with that move. I just don’t that he’s good enough, unfortunately.
“Celtic have too many players who are just bit-part players. They need to recruit better.”
Despite McAvennie’s misgivings, Celtic could easily sign McCann as ‘one for the future’ rather than relying on him straight away. He doesn’t necessarily have to be at the forefront of their summer business. Instead, he could be a shrewd, long-term addition for a relatively low fee.
Yes, Celtic need to be ambitious, but that doesn’t mean they should bypass the opportunity to pick up one of the most impressive young talents lower down the division. Indeed, they signed Kristoffer Ajer as a fledgling 17-year-old in 2016 and he has grown into a first team regular, playing 176 times so far for the Hoops. Who’s to say McCann can’t do the same if he comes to Parkhead?
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