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Celtic: Alistair Johnston backed to thrive in Scotland

Celtic: Alistair Johnston backed to thrive in Scotland -Celtic Transfer Rumours

Celtic-bound Alistair Johnston has been backed to cope with the heights of signing for the Premiership giants by former Scotland international Alan Hutton.

The Lowdown: World Cup impact

It has taken just a single season at Montreal and two World Cup games for Johnston’s name to be fixed on the radar of Ange Postecoglou’s side, with his impressive performances for Canada in Qatar seeing him thrive in a back-three system under John Herdman. 

The Hoops are reported to have agreed a £3m deal with the 24-year-old, with a January move likely due to the absence of work permit complications owing to a UK passport through his mother (Daily Record).

The Latest: Hutton’s backing for Johnston

According to Hutton, Johnston will not be fazed by the switch from the MLS to the Scottish Premiership. 

Asked by Football Insider if the Canada defender would struggle to adapt at Celtic, the BBC pundit said: “I do not think so. I think the biggest change for him will be a culture thing and moving country. That will be the biggest thing for him.

Could you say that it is slightly higher standard? Possibly.

I think when you come in to Celtic and Rangers it is the pressure you are under to constantly win, to try and pick up trophies, European games, so that is something that he will have to get used to.

He is a young player, I have watched him and he plays with no fear. I do not see why it would be a real problem for him.

The Verdict: A great coup

Hutton is correct. It would be a surprise to see Johnston struggle to adapt to the Premiership, with the defender accustomed to pressure, having performed commendably on the world stage in Qatar. 

In fairness to Johnston, he is experienced at international level, having made 32 appearances for Canada; and despite not bursting into the higher ranks of the professional football scene until his MLS debut in 2020, he has transitioned well. 

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His efforts on the pitch reflect his defensive attributes, winning four tackles in his two World Cup appearances, with his versatility at the back sure to come as a big boost to Postecoglou. 

Assuming there are no late hitches, this is an exciting move for both parties; and based on his performances at the World Cup, Johnston seems as though he would settle in nicely at Parkhead.

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