Alistair Johnston Makes Five-Year Celtic Move
Canadian international Alistair Johnston’s big move to Scottish Premiership giant Celtic FC is now official, and will formally go through on January 1, 2023 pending international clearance.
The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed by either Celtic of Montreal, but the move is expected to have taken a hefty seven figure sum that represents a tidy profit for his former side, who acquired him from Nashville one year ago for one million dollars in GAM.
His first and only Major League Soccer season in La Belle province saw him become a quick fan-favourite, with the right-back wowing crowds with his fluent movement up the flank while contributing four goals and four assists in 31 appearances.
Prior to that, he enjoyed a rise from a relatively unknown prospect to a certified starter in Nashville, who are set to earn 10% of his move to Celtic.
“Montreal welcomed me into its family from day one and helped me reach new levels that I didn’t even know I was capable of,” said Alistair Johnston in a club statement. “I was lucky enough to come into a group with great leadership and talent, and most importantly great people. Although it was only one season together, it was an unforgettable one. It’s not just the records that we broke on the pitch that I’ll remember, but also the connection we built with the entire fanbase over that time. That passion was evident and made playing for this club in front of all of you so special. Thank you.”
Johnston’s move to Celtic FC took shape during the Canadian international’s time in Qatar, where he played 90 minutes of action through all three World Cup matches for Les Rouges. He’s set the record for most consecutive appearances for the country, and has now played 33 matches for the senior team, contributing one goal and three assists while on national duty.
“I’m delighted. He’s someone we identified pretty early on as somebody we think can add to our club,” said Celtic head coach Ange Postecoglou. “He’s had an interesting career path where he’s had to work very hard to get to where he is, and we’re very happy to conclude the deal and knowing he was going to the World Cup, I think he performed well there as well.”
The aforementioned path saw Johnston playing semi-professional soccer with League1 Ontario’s Vaughan Azzurri‘s back in 2019 before the Wake Forest University product was selected in the MLS SuperDraft. Just a few years later, he’s set for European football with one of Scotland’s biggest sides.
“He’s really keen to come across and take the next step in his career, and I think he’ll be a great fit in our dressing-room, and he’ll definitely add something to our football as well,” added Postecoglou.