Ali McCann shows up well against Celtic after Hoops reportedly scouted him

By David Walton

December 7, 2020

After Celtic reportedly scouted Ali McCann back in November, the youngster showed up well in his first match against the Hoops since.

The Courier reported last month that Tosh McKinlay had him watched in a 1-1 draw against Motherwell. The Northern Irish midfielder then responded by admitting that he wanted to play at the highest level possible (The Courier).

McCann had made 16 appearances before yesterday’s 1-1 stalemate against Celtic at Parkhead (Transfermarkt). However, despite the fact he’d been competing well in the Premiership, he showed up extremely well in Glasgow.

Up against Callum McGregor and Scott Brown in the engine room, McCann was the most impressive midfielder on the pitch.

Stat experts WhoScored ranked McCann with a marking of 6.85/10 for his performance. That was more than Brown and McGregor’s rating of 6.51/10.

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In addition to that, McCann managed to make his mark with two efforts on goal and one key pass. His passing percentage of 74.2% also can’t be dismissed either given how congested the midfield was yesterday.

A tidy midfield operator

Despite having a total of 47 touches in the game, only one of them was deemed a loose one by WhoScored.

However, what was most impressive about McCann’s game was his ball-winning. He managed a total of five successful tackles as his youthful enthusiasm seemed to take the Celtic midfield off-guard.

Make no mistake, McCann wasn’t outrageously good yesterday and didn’t do anything that should make Celtic jump to bring him in when the window opens next month. However, what he did do was show that he can compete against the Hoops and actually outperform one or two of them.

Ali McCann up against Celtic captain Scott Brown (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Listen, McCann is no better a prospect than David Turnbull for example. Celtic are likely well-stocked in that area at the moment with Olivier Ntcham and Ismaila Soro also in reserve.

But the St Johnstone youngster could be one to keep an eye on over the next six months in particular. He rose to the occasion well yesterday, despite there being clear pressure after Celtic had reportedly scouted him.

Let’s see how he develops as the season goes on.

In other news, we discuss how the idea of Celtic fans being labeled “entitled” is getting more embarrassing by the week.