Alan Hutton claimed Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston had to go out on loan this season to reignite his career and gain crucial first-team experience.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers and Scotland full-back claimed the 20-year-old did “unbelievably well” when he was pitched into the first team two years ago.
Ralston famously went head-to-head with Neymar in a Champions League group stage match against Paris Saint-Germain when he was just 18, and went on to play regularly that season.
But the defender was frozen out before being loaned out to Dundee United last season and, then, at the start of this month joined St Johnstone on loan for the 2019-20 campaign.
“Maybe he’s not pushed to the levels expected,” Hutton told Football Insider. “It’s a difficult one. Burst onto the scene at right-back, did unbelievably well.
“I remember the Barcelona one there was a lot of hype after that and I don’t mean it can throw you a bit but you just get thrown into the limelight a little bit.
“It’s like: ‘Right do it every time. Do that, what you’ve done, all the time,’ and it can be difficult, it can be a little bit daunting.
“It’s not quite happened but sometimes you have to take a little step back and then continue on from there. He’s done that, he’s went out on loan now and I think that will help him get the experience he needs.”
Ralston has made 19 appearances for Celtic since graduating from their academy ranks and has also been capped by Scotland at Under-21 level.
He figured for the Hoops earlier in the season before they signed three new right-backs and has started St Johnstone’s last two league matches.