Celtic are struggling right now and after a draw with Hibernian at the weekend, they are left chasing their arch-rivals for one of the first times in ten years.
Does that mean the Hoops should enter the transfer market when it opens? It certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea for Nick Hammond to lend Neil Lennon some added assistance.
According to The Courier, Celtic are interested in a move for St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann.
The Northern Irishman has been impressive since bursting onto the scene last season and it’s hardly a surprise one of Scotland’s big boys are now chasing him.
The report states that Hoops talent scout Tosh McKinlay was at McDiarmid Park on Saturday afternoon to watch the 20-year-old in action as his side took on Motherwell in a 1-1 draw.
He was there to run the rule over McCann and will head back to Parkhead with a review for the likes of Lennon and Hammond to assess.
The youngster has a contract until 2023, while Transfermarkt values the central midfielder at just £540,000.
It’s safe to say that McKinlay would have been impressed with what he saw from McCann last weekend.
The midfielder has been in a rich vein of form and followed up his Man of the Match display for Northern Ireland vs Romania with another glowing performance against Motherwell.
McCann was a pillar of solidity in front of the backline as he completed two tackles and made five interceptions on the way to ensuring 87.5% of his passes were a success.
Now, the St Johnstone man might not be a holding midfielder by trade but he can certainly play there, being labelled as “undroppable” by Livingston midfielder Jason Holt last season when he played alongside him.
That trait is an important one to have but it’s the defensive qualities of the 20-year-old that lead us to believe he could be Celtic’s natural Scott Brown successor.
The 35-year-old is no spring chicken and it surely won’t be long before he’s being usurped in Lennon’s starting XI. After all, McCann is now outperforming Brown in some key areas.
In 2020/21, the St Johnstone star has won 2.3 tackles a game in the SPFL and 3.5 challenges per match in the UEFA Nations League.
For context, Brown has managed just 1.5 in the league. Clearly, there is room for improvement at the base of Celtic’s midfield.