Celtic boss believes Anthony Ralston has been outperforming James Tavernier and co

By David Walton

November 4, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has stated that Anthony Ralston has been the standout right-back in the Scottish Premiership this season.

The 22-year-old signed a new contract at Parkhead that ties him to the club until the summer of 2025. It’s a massive turnaround compared to where Ralston was at the start of the season. However, the arrival of Postecoglou has given him a clean slate that he’s taken with both hands.

Meanwhile, Ralston continues to be snubbed for Scotland duty. International boss Steve Clarke has been choosing the likes of Stephen O’Donnell and Nathan Patterson ahead of the Celtic man – something that’s bound to be leaving him scratching his head.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And as Postecoglou covered that very subject yesterday, he was quick to state his man has been outperforming the likes of James Tavernier and co this season.

As quoted by the National, Ange said: “I don’t see any reason why not (why he can’t break into Scotland squad). I think every footballer has that ambition within them and I think he is showing that.

“In his position, he’s probably the stand-out performer this year in the Premiership, so I’m sure he’s on Steve Clarke’s radar and, at the end of the day, he needs to keep performing so that his form is compelling enough that he gets selected.

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“I think that will be something that is in the back of his mind, but he knows he needs to keep performing for Celtic first.”

Anthony Ralston – Scottish football’s number 1 right-back?

You can’t really argue with the manager here. After all, WhoScored rank Ralston as the Scottish Premiership’s top performer. Ahead of second-placed Tavernier, it’s worth mentioning.

Even as Celtic supporters, we’d still have laughed at the prospect of Ralston being the best right-back in Scottish football this early in the season. We certainly wouldn’t have thought he’d be playing better than Tavernier either.

But what more could we possibly ask from the Scotland U21 international? He’s made massive strides over the last few months alone. He’s shown vast improvement in his one-v-one defending as well as his recovery challenges. Not to mention he’s added goals to his game which is always a bonus.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

There are always areas in which to improve your game. That’s a message Postecoglou is likely hammering into Ralston and one he’ll surely agree with. But even so, the transformation has been absolutely incredible, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be in contention for end-of-season awards should he keep it up.

For now, he’ll just be concentrating on trying to make the season a successful one for Celtic. It’s important he continues his progress and helps secure some silverware with the club at the end of the season. Even this early, that has to be the ultimate goal this year.

Next up, Ferencvaros away.

In other news, Celtic January rumours increase excitement levels for supporters