Canadian protector Alistair Johnston relocates to Celtic after standout World Cup

Protector Alistair Johnston, among Canada’s standout gamers at the 2022 World Cup, is headed to Scotland’s Glasgow Celtic.

CF Montreal validated the transfer Saturday, stating it will work Jan. 1– the start of the January transfer window.

Celtic stated Johnston has actually signed a five-year agreement and will meet the group next weekend when it returns from training school in Portugal.

While Celtic and Montreal did not information the transfer cost, Glasgow’s Daily Record reported the offer deserves around 3 million pounds (C$ 4.97 million), with Johnston getting 10 percent.

The 24-year-old defender/wingback from Aurora, Ont., made US$ 445,625 with Montreal last season, according to the MLS Players Association.

Johnston was among 6 Canadians to play in all 3 Group F matches at the World Cup.

“When a club like Celtic comes calling, it will turn any footballer’s head, and specifically for myself, maturing in a British family, Celtic was among the clubs that is near and dear to our hearts,” Johnston informed Celtic television. “And for me, it’s one of the most significant clubs on the planet.

“Just to hear that this was a club that had an interest in me, and to see the task the training personnel have and the development that this group and this club continues to make in Europe also, it’s truly amazing.”

Johnston noted he has “a lots of household” in Scotland and in Ireland.

“My father’s a substantial football fan, and my mum’s from Northern Ireland, so there’s lots of connections there, which’s likewise what made it an ideal fit.”

Celtic presently tops the Scottish Premier League at 14-1-0. The storied club, which counts rock star Rod Stewart amongst its advocates, has actually won the Scottish league title 52 times in addition to 40 Scottish Cups, 20 League Cups and the European Cup.

Johnston has actually begun a record 31 successive video games for Canada, eliminating the record of 27 set by previous Canada captain Bruce Wilson from 1984 to ’86. He has actually won 33 caps in all, with 29 starts.

Johnston’s senior launching accompanied Canada’s opening World Cup certifying match versus Bermuda in March 2021. He won a 2nd cap versus the Cayman Islands prior to losing out on a video game versus Aruba in June 2021.

He was back for a match with Suriname later on that month and has actually not missed out on a video game because.

Montreal quit US$ 1 million in basic allowance cash in December 2021 to get Johnston from Nashville SC, who took him 11th general in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft out of Wake Forest.

In 2022, he scored 4 objectives for Montreal and included 5 helps in 33 MLS routine season video games, consisting of 30 starts. He likewise began 2 championship game and played in 3 CONCACAF Champions League matches and the Canadian Championship semifinal.

Johnston was called Montreal’s protective gamer of the year.

“He’s an example of the method we desire a gamer to develop when he joins our group; with clear concepts, while offering whatever for the group,” stated Olivier Renard, Montreal’s vice-president and chief sporting officer, in a declaration. “When a chance with a huge club such as Celtic develops, we listen to our gamer.”

Johnston stated Montreal assisted him “reach brand-new levels that I didn’t even understand I can.”

Born in Vancouver, Johnston was 4 when the household relocated to Montreal and 7 when they settled in Aurora. He was 16 when he made his launching in the Canadian youth program at an under-18 camp in 2015.

He invested his very first 2 years of college at St. John’s, where he began all 36 video games as a freshman and sophomore prior to relocating to Wake Forest, which he captained in 2019.

Johnston got here as a main midfielder however was moved to right back by Wake Forest coach Bobby Muuss.

“He’s a trainee of the video game, he’s a soccer addict,” Muuss (noticable Muce) stated in January 2020. “He’s a man that any coach would like to have in the locker space in regards to what he gives your group in character, work rate, professionalism, aspiration … What he did truly for the long-lasting culture of this group is something I’ll be indebted to him for life.”

In 2 seasons with Nashville, Johnston played 44 video games, consisting of 39 starts, with one objective and 2 helps.

Johnston played club soccer in the Toronto location at Vaughan SC.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

This report by The Canadian Press was very first released Dec. 3, 2022

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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