Tony Ralston may have saved Celtic millions in transfer market
Celtic right-back Tony Ralston could have saved the club millions in January.
For at least a year fans have been calling for a replacement to Mikael Lustig.
Ralston had his shot last season, but never amounted to much. Now, however, he is finally making the most of his newest opportunity this season.
Fits the bill for Celtic full-backs
Ralston is meeting the requirements to fan favourite full-backs of past and present.
Like Kieran Tierney and Danny McGrain, Tony likes to get forward and overlap.
He made an impression on that front last week by scoring the opener against Motherwell after getting forward. Even at the weekend, a similar move allowed Ralston through on goal but unfortunately the post denied him this time.
This isn’t something that fans can expect from positional-rival Lustig. If the Swede made the box during an attack that would be a surprise in itself.
Ralston is a smart player and his loan to Dundee United will have shown him another side to Scottish football away from the glitz and glamour at Celtic.
Long winding road coming to an end?
If Ralston manages to cement his place as first choice right-back then a journey is finishing.
The right-back positions is always seen as a weakness in the starting 11.
The usual transfer mantra is ‘right-back, centre-back, striker’ but finally one of them may be ticked off.
Lustig’s contract is coming to an end but he wants to renew it. However, his place may become untenable should Ralston become more prominent, and Celtic may not want to shell out the wages on a full-back that might not play.
Celtic are looking at that position with Manny Perez impressing on trial. The 19-year-old is a work permit away from signing with the Bhoys.
This means that Ralston and Lustig must step up their game to prove they are worthy first-team players or face losing their spots.
However, with potentially two young fired up right-backs, Celtic have saved millions.