Celtic are seemingly continuing their transfer work ahead of next season, as the Sunday Post reports that the club will run the rule over Ali McCann today [print edition, 09/05, back page].
Celtic sent Tosh McKinlay to take a look at the St Johnstone midfielder back in November [The Courier]. However, after that match against Motherwell, there were no firther links of the Hoops’ interest developing. Instead, the January transfer window came and went without any news picking up on McCann’s future.
But it appears that Celtic remain keen. The Sunday Post believes that they’ll be keeping a close eye on today’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden. McCann is said to be the subject of their scouting mission once again.
It’s a monumental day for the Northern Ireland international. Despite being in the Saints side regularly over the past two years, McCann hasn’t tasted Scottish Cup final success. He was, however, part of the Saints side that won the Betfred Cup earlier this year.
So far this term, McCann has played 41 times, and has already been capped twice by Northern Ireland at senior level [Transfermarkt].
Celtic will need to be wowed; Ali McCann plays in a position we don’t need reinforcements in
McCann is clearly a fine footballer. He’s a good ball carrier, sharp in the challenge, and is technically very gifted. However, he also plays in a position in which we don’t necessarily need reinforcements.
Yes, Scott Brown is leaving for Aberdeen this summer. But all that’s doing is reducing a currently overcrowded position. Ismaila Soro is clearly best placed to succeed Brown, and Celtic would be wiser to look after their own investments before plumping for a new one.
Celtic also have a host of youngsters returning from loan spells this summer who will be looking to make an impact in midfield. The likes of Luca Connell, Scott Robertson, and Kerr McInroy will all be battling for a shot. That’s not even mentioning the fact that Olivier Ntcham is due to come back whilst Liam Shaw is also arriving from Sheffield Wednesday.
So, surely, in order for Celtic to make an addition in this area, we’ll have to be wowed by McCann today. His performance against St Mirren could be monumental for his own career. And it’ll also be interesting to see how he deals with the combined pressure of knowing Celtic are watching him and being in a cup semi at Hampden.
He certainly did himself no harm at Ibrox in the quarter-finals when he knocked Rangers out with the winning penalty during a shootout. His overall performance in that one was also impressive as his midfield grafting ensured Saints saw plenty of the ball.
But it’ll still surely take something special for Celtic to make a move given how the midfield picture currently looks. It’ll be interesting to see how the youngster performs today.