Ange Postecoglou delivers Anthony Ralston Celtic contract update
Ange Postecoglou has provided an update on the contract situation surrounding Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston.
Ralston is currently into the final year of his Parkhead contract as he looks to cement his place as Celtic’s first-choice right-back this season.
The player has endured several loan spells away from the club in the past, most recently a period with St Johnstone during the 2019/20 campaign. But he’s come back this season and managed to improve his game to make himself a key cog in Postecoglou’s squad.
In the meantime, there’s always the lingering question of his contract situation. The Celtic manager has come out and provided a quick update on where he stands on the situation at the moment.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Postecoglou said: “In terms of Tony, Michael Nicholson (interim chief executive) is in charge of that area. My focus is trying to make sure that Anthony continues his development because he’s been fantastic.
“Contract negotiations will take care of themselves. There’s very little need to feel angst about it. The club has a lot of faith in Tony. That’s why they gave him a new contract before I even started here.
“I gave him a chance and you’d have to say he’s grabbed it with both hands so far.”
Anthony Ralston still needs to do more before Celtic stay can be confirmed
You can’t argue with the results so far. Ralston does indeed look a different player under Postecoglou. He looks tidier with the ball, hungrier when defending, and ready to run through brick walls for his teammates. You always need some players like that in your squad.
However, in saying that, the Celtic fans could be forgiven for not being totally convinced he deserves a new long-term deal just yet. Ralston has only been performing well for a couple of months max.
There are still question marks regarding how well he suits the inverted full-back role. He still looks uncomfortable when he has to float more to a more central area of the field. Not to mention his crossing is still in need of major improvements.
It’s something of a surprise that Josip Juranovic hasn’t ousted him at right-back as of yet. Instead, Postecoglou has viewed the Croatian international as more of a left-sided option. But even so, Ralston still needs to keep his levels sky high if he wants to remain in the team.
As of right now, there’s still a heck of a lot of time left to go this season. Ralston has nowhere near shown that he deserves a new contract yet, albeit he’s on the right path. This is a decision the club has to make carefully and not just rush into.
Clearly, however, the manager is enjoying what Ralston is bringing to the table. Let’s see if he can keep it going for the foreseeable future.