Michael Stewart pays the ‘biggest compliment’ he can to Celtic’s Alistair Johnston

By Patrick Sinat

May 8, 2023

Ange Postecoglou has been rightfully praised in the media and by the Celtic fans for his transfer business over the last two seasons. The manager just seems to have this knack of plucking players from relative obscurity and making them successful in this Celtic side.

And after Celtic sealed the title against Hearts at Tynecastle yesterday, Michael Stewart was discussing one of those signings and the part he has played in this season’s title success, Alistair Johnston.

Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Stewart said, “Just talking about January there for example. With [Josip] Juranovic, and [Giorgos] Giakoumakis, two players who were big parts of the squad, but Ange Postecoglou said, ‘No, that’s fine, no problem on you go. If you don’t want to be here on you go and we’ll find somebody else to come in.’

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“Alistair Johnston we spoke about him, and the biggest compliment you can pay him is that he has come in and Juranovic has been forgotten about. He’s come in seamlessly and he’s got better and better.”

Alistair Johnston was brought in before the World Cup and the Canadian has been an instant hit with the fans. A very good league debut at Ibrox has been followed up with a string of impressive performances that has brought home the league cup and the SPFL title.

Photo by Alex Todd/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

And Stewart is right. Josip Juranovic has been completely forgotten about. The Croatian was a huge fan favourite last season and after some good performances at the World Cup in December, the full-back earned his move to the Bundesliga.

Johnston has come into Celtic and looked like he has been here for years. He has immersed himself into the club and engrained himself into the fanbase. The hoops support love him.

Johnston just epitomises Ange Postecoglou’s eye for a player. Before signing for the club, he wasn’t very well known in these parts. But this, of course, is not the first time we have witnessed this from the Celtic boss.

We saw it in his first season with the capture of Kyogo, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda. And this season is no different.

The challenge now for Ange is to continue to find these footballing rough diamonds and shape them into the stars of the future for Celtic. And I, along with many Celtic fans, have no doubt that he will do that.

In other news, Dermot Gallagher says Hearts red card v Celtic was ‘obvious’