Celtic missing out on Ali McCann makes absolutely no sense at all

By David Walton

September 1, 2021

Celtic failed to secure St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann last night, with the player instead moving to Preston.

The deal only cost £1.2m [Daily Record]. And despite having scouted the player on more than one occasion last season, we’ve allowed one of Scottish football’s brightest young talents to move to England.

Had this been a £5m deal or anywhere near it, it could’ve been more understandable. However, McCann has been signed for a snip. It’s a total no-risk move for Preston to take him to Deepdale. And it makes you question why on earth Celtic didn’t make a move.

There was no reports of the Hoops putting an offer in. Many will say Ange Postecoglou simply didn’t want him. But even so, we still needed cover in the central midfield position before the window closed.

Bagging McCann looked like a deal too good to be true. A chance to solve our midfield cover problem for absolute buttons. Yet it’s a chance passed up by Celtic.

Celtic leave centre-midfield options short as Ali McCann moves to Preston

Again, it would’ve been more understandable again had we added to our midfield ranks last night. But we didn’t. Celtic secured a striker, a left-winger, and a centre-back. Great variation most definitely, but another CM was a crucial component.

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When you look at our midfield ranks, it’s a concern. In terms of potential holding midfielders, we have Callum McGregor, Ismaila Soro, James McCarthy and Liam Shaw. Shaw, meanwhile, has been featuring for the B team recently.

One more experienced or talented addition would’ve been ideal. McCann was like a gift placed on our doorstep. Instead, we’ve decided to slam the door shut on it as opposed to grabbing it with both hands.

McCann has been discussing his move since signing and stated that he simply couldn’t turn Preston down [PNE]. Goodness knows then how he would’ve reacted had Celtic come calling.

And our failure to get a deal done hasn’t been forgotten by the Celtic supporters either, who have been left mystified by our failure to strike an agreement:

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