Alistair Johnston signed for Celtic at the weekend. The Canadian signed a five-year deal with the Hoops, moving from MLS side Montreal.

The last time Celtic tried to dip into the American/Canadian market under Brendan Rodgers, the plan went horribly wrong. If you remember the names Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez, you’ll probably remember the difficulty Celtic had trying to obtain work permits for the players.

Both men were signed and loaned back out in the States to go about their business. The only way Celtic were ever going to get work permits for the lads were if they were called up to the USA squad. It was a weird Lee Congerton shot in the dark that didn’t pay off. Neither men were able to make a competitive appearance for the club.

So why was the Alistair Johnston Celtic deal so straight forward?

There was ZERO red tape bringing the Canadian to Celtic due to the fact his mother is from Northern Ireland and Alistair already possessed a UK passport. That detail alone would have been music to the ears of Celtic scouts who started tracking the right back.

Celtic Target Alistair Johnston
REUTERS/Matthew Childs

This deal feels like it all slotted into place very nicely. We had Celtic getting a deal put in place before Alistair kicked a ball at the World Cup, avoiding a potential price hike after the tournament which will certainly come into play when January hits.

Alistair was desperate to come and got the lowdown from Victor Wanyama and also spoke about Scottish football with fellow Canadian international David Wotherspoon.

He seems ready to get going. We spoke to Canadian journalist Peter Galindo last week who described Alistair as a very engaging person off the park, but a feisty player on the field. Celtic fans will like the sound of that. You can listen to the full podcast here.


  1. Let’s not go overboard on this quite yet!
    Johnston is no better than Ralston which means if we sell Juranovic we have TWO second choice right backs and NO first choice!
    This could easily be very costly to Celtic as the remainder of the season unfolds.
    I’d prefer to hang on to Juranovic!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.