SPFL coach raves over reported Celtic target; tips him to get "better and better"

By Euan Davidson

June 10, 2021

St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann looks likely to move on from the Perth club, with Celtic definitely keen.

Celtic scout, and former left-back Tosh McKinlay, has watched the Northern Ireland international plenty this season, according to the Courier. Callum Davidson’s side were extremely impressive in 20-21, winning two domestic trophies. With McCann at the heart of their midfield, losing him after such a successful campaign will sting.

However, interest was inevitable. Now, Steven Maclean, a coach under Davidson at St Johnstone, has claimed it’ll take a big bid for the midfielder. However, in the coach’s view, he’s more than worth it.

Maclean said [Glasgow Times]:

“He has had a fantastic season. When you watch him he just seems to do everything well.

“Hopefully he continues growing and keeps improving. I’m sure he will. He’s a great kid and deserves everything he gets.

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“The ground he covers in games is fantastic. He is a top player and he has proved that. He’s been a huge part of our most successful season and hopefully there is more to come.

“It will be hard to keep him. I think if someone was to come in, the chairman and Callum have said that they will need to pay a big fee.

“He will get everything he deserves as long as he keeps working hard. He will just get better and better. If someone comes in to take him we will just have to move on. He will deserve it if he does get his move.”

Celtic could certainly use a player like Ali McCann

With Scott Brown jarringly spotted in an Aberdeen shirt yesterday, it reminded fans that he’ll need replaced. Ismaila Soro is the current incumbent defensive midfielder, while Nir Bitton is an accomplished anchor himself.

McCann can also play that role, and has done for St Johnstone, but it’s his metronomic passing and ball-winning abilities that lend themselves to the Brown comparison. Often the one controlling the pace of the game for Davidson’s side this season, the Edinburgh-born Northern Ireland international has been a stand-out in the SPFL over the last year.

Ali McCann on international duty / (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s no surprise he’s winning call-ups, but the 21-year-old is also winning plaudits. The Belfast Telegraph named McCann as “one of the first names on the team sheet” under manager Ian Baraclough.

With Ange Postecoglou announced today, it’ll be interesting to see whether Celtic buy players from within the Scottish Premiership. Whether they’re hoisted upon the new boss, or agreed by both parties, we can’t really afford to miss out on players like Ali McCann.

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