Jackie McNamara says that he is delighted to see Celtic defender Anthony Ralston remain in the Scottish Premiership after sealing a loan move to St Johnstone for the 2019/20 season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Hoops and Scotland star says that the 20-year-old right-back will have been frustrated with his lack of progress after breaking into the first-team at Parkhead and that a temporary spell away should do him the world of good.
Ralston played just four times in Celtic’s summer and early season fixtures, three of those coming off the bench as a substitute.
McNamara says that the influx of right-sided defenders this summer, with Hatem Abd Elhamed, Lee O’Connor and Jeremie Frimpong all making the move to Ibrox, had the potential to further limit Ralston’s playing time and that a top-flight switch is best for his development.
Asked about the right-back’s temporary move across the Premiership, McNamara told Football Insider: “Yeah, it will do him good. He was frustrated, he had a good spell a few years ago, then went on loan as well.
“A lot of full-backs have come in this summer, with Elhamed, O’Connor and Frimpong. I think that’s really good that he’s playing in the Premiership.”
Ralston featured just five times across all competitions last season, a knee injury keeping him out of action for much of the second half of the campaign.
His move to St Johnstone is the third loan spell of his career, having spent time at Queen’s Park and Dundee United since breaking through the youth system in Glasgow.