Head coach John Herdman praised Alistair Johnston’s switch to Glasgow with the dust now beginning to settle after Canada’s World Cup journey.

The 24-year-old defender was revealed as Celtic’s newest signing over the weekend having joined the Scottish champions on a 5-year deal from MLS side CF Montreal [Celtic FC].

Alistair Johnston
REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Johnston will be able to feature for Ange Postecoglou’s side in the new year and may travel to Glasgow ahead of schedule to climatize himself with the city and his new teammates with Yuki Kobayashi recently arriving.

He shot to prominence for many Hoops supporters who closely watched on as his national team went up against Belgium, Croatia and Morocco after initially being linked with a move to the Hoops.

Canada finished bottom of their group on zero points but put on some impressive performances with many spectators comparing their performances to Celtic in European football this season.

Their boss Herdman believes that Johnston’s move will be the first of many Canadian stars moving to European football with talents such as Alphonso Davies and Tajon Buchanan impressing in Europe.

“I would now expect other players, after Alistair Johnston got his move, to attract the attention of European clubs,” said John Herdman as quoted by the Daily Record. 

“When arriving in Qatar, several of our players were unknown. I think a lot of them have built credibility.

“Collectively we performed well together, but there were definitely some good individual performances during the tournament. I feel we have a chance now to push more players into the top divisions and Alastair’s move is a big step for Canada.

“We continue to push players into these environments, where they gain Champions League and Europa League experience, which is a great thing for us. We have played on the world stage and looking back, I know there are some things we did really well throughout this tournament.

“And then there are other facets. You look at those little moments and what you keep learning is the thin margins, the real thin margins at that level.”

It could be said that this pathway has already been created in Scottish football as a whole with Celtic predominantly leading the way.

Amongst the Australia side there were a number of players who apply their trade in Scotland with J-League talents also looking to make the international breakthrough by switching to the Hoops.

Johnston is different from many of the previous arrivals at Celtic having already got a good bit of experience under his belt with this World Cup tournament and will still have plenty more to come.




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