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Interest in Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston from south of the border has been mounting in recent weeks, with reports claiming that Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are closely monitoring the 18-year old.
The Scottish Sun went on to claim that the Toffees have been monitoring Ralston since he broke into the senior team last season, and there have been rumours of a possible January move from Ronald Koeman’s side come the January transfer window. If the Premier League outfit comes calling in the winter transfer window, should the Hoops look to do business and offload the talented youngster?
The answer would be a resounding NO.
Having been with the Celtic academy since 2009, Ralston’s rise to the senior team has been rapid and eventful. Impressed with his talent, the club loaned the youngster out to Scottish League Two side Queen’s Park ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, where he made 15 appearances, scoring once and assisting two goals, before returning to the Parkhead in January 2016.
The right-back went on to make his senior debut for the Hoops later that season, featuring in a 2-1 loss against St. Johnstone on 11 May 2016. The 18-year old managed just two senior appearances in the 16/17 campaign, but has grown into prominence in the current campaign.
Ralston, this season, has appeared 7 times in all competitions and has given a good account of himself. The 18-year old scored his first goal for the club in a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock in the League Cup and has registered two assists so far. A modern day full-back, Ralston has displayed a very strong and aggressive mentality so far in his fledgeling career.
Never to back down from a challenge of any form, the 18-year old went toe to toe with one of the best players in the world, Neymar, in the UEFA Champions League and managed to hold his own, so much so that, the Brazilian attacker snubbed a handshake and refused to exchange shirts with Ralston after the game.
As if his impressive abilities at right-back were not enough, Ralston recently was deployed in a right-sided centre-half role by manager Brendan Rodgers as a part of his three-man backline against Ross County, and the youngster came out with flying colours again, performing admirably in an unfamiliar role, highlighting his versatility and adaptability.
While it might be too early to judge a player just ten games into his senior career, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Celtic have a very good player in the making, who has shown great maturity and attitude for his tender age. Ralston might not be at the level of Kieran Tierney as of yet, but he is making all the right noises and the Hoops should hold on to him for the years to come and watch him grow and flourish at the Parkhead.