Victor Wanyama backs CanMNT defender Alistair Johnston as 'future leader' of Celtic

Johnston is being tipped to do great things with Celtic.
Johnston is being tipped to do great things with Celtic. / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Victor Wanyama has backed his former CF Montreal teammate Alistair Johnston to become a 'future leader' for Celtic.

Johnston recently agreed to join the Scottish champions in a deal believed to be worth in excess of $3.6m following a successful stint in MLS with Nashville SC then, later, Montreal.

The defender brings World Cup experience having recently represented Canada in Qatar and is versatile, able to play as a right-back or third center-back in a five-man defense.

But most important according to Wanyama, who shared the field with Johnston in Montreal and played for Celtic between 2011 and 2013, is the 24-year-old's leadership and work rate.

“I told him about how big a club Celtic is and how amazing the fans are. I told him that the fans are demanding, but they will always have your back," Wanyama said (via The Athletic).

“He is very professional and well-educated. He loves reading books and engaging in conversation. I see him as a future leader.

“He can run for days. He was always up and down the right demanding the ball from me, so that’s how I recognize him — energy.”

Wanyama's assesment of Johnston's abilities were also backed up by the defender's former coach at college side Wake Forest, Bobby Muuss, who championed his winning mentality.

"He’s hard. He’s fearless. He’s confident. He’s all about winning, a competitor. But also he’s very coachable. He’s a future coach because he’s always trying to learn and always trying to adapt," Muuss said of Johnston, a 32-time international for Canada.

“His leadership on the field — not only with his actions but vocally too — show he will lead once he understands the tactical system. He’s a man of substance, not flair. He doesn’t do anything because the cameras are on him. He does it for what he feels the team needs to be successful.

“The tactical knowledge is there along with that tenacity, a little bit of nastiness, which is important, especially as a defender.”

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