St Johnstone's Ali McCann shines again at Easter Road; was reportedly watched by Celtic on Saturday

By David Walton

November 25, 2020

St Johnstone youngster Ali McCann has continued to impress after reportedly being watched by Celtic on Saturday.

The Courier reported that the Hoops had sent scout Tosh McKinlay to Perth to watch the Northern Ireland youngster in action against Motherwell.

However, he showed he’s capable of in last night’s 2-2 draw at Easter Road, as he played a key role in bagging Saints something in a fixture that looked as though they would be up against it in.

McCann managed to slot home a fine finish to break the deadlock after latching onto a loose ball in the Hibs penalty area. He then showed brilliant ball-winning skills to intercept possession in the midfield and give David Wotherspoon the space to run into and score. You can view the goals here in the BBC highlights package.

However, as well as his goal and assist, McCann was lively in other aspects too. Stat experts WhoScored gave him a rating of 7.77 out of 10 – the highest rank of any of St Johnstone’s players on the night. He was second only to Hibs’ Paul McGinn if you include everyone, and that’s only because the Hibs man bagged a brace.

McCann looking to build some consistency

McCann also had the highest passing percentage out of everyone in the Saints starting XI – with an impressive 74.1% score.

In addition to that, he showed his defensive prowess with three successful tackles and three interceptions. Not once was he dispossessed, whilst he had a couple of efforts on goal and one key pass.

It was certainly another busy performance from him as he looks to bolster his reputation ahead of the January window. It remains to be seen if Celtic’s interest in him is anything immediately serious, or whether this is with a view to a move in the distant future.

St Johnstone’s Celtic-linked midfielder Ali McCann (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group via Getty Images)

McCann only has 56 senior appearances to his name with St Johnstone (Transfermarkt), so it would certainly be ideal if he could bolster that number before making the step-up to Parkhead.

The problem McCann has is that he would be entering a massively competitive area of the pitch at Parkhead. David Turnbull, Ismaila Soro, and Luca Connell make up some of the talent in the midfield position that still isn’t receiving game-time.

However, he is ambitious, and the Northern Ireland international outlined that ambition in comments published by The Courier earlier this week.

So you would imagine Celtic still want to see a bit more of what McCann can produce before we take the plunge. Last night’s performance, however, was a promising sign.

In other news, a Champions League player has been called out for playing a key part in Celtic’s decline this season.