John Hartson names ‘most improved’ Celtic player after Ferencvaros win
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John Hartson names 'most improved' Celtic player after Ferencvaros win

John Hartson has told BT Sport (broadcast on 18/10; 17:36) that Anthony Ralston has been outstanding this season, and labelled the full-back the most improved player at Celtic since Ange Postecoglou arrived.

The Hoops have their first points of the Europa League campaign after beating Ferencvaros on Tuesday.

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Celtic won 2-0 at Parkhead. And they had the opportunity to win by many more. But it could have also been a much more disappointing evening.

The visitors looked set to have a golden chance to score. However, Ralston produced a stunning challenge to knock the ball behind when Ferencvaros looked to have a simple task.

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But the 22-year-old did brilliantly. And in truth, that moment would have come as no surprise to those who have watched Celtic this season.

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Ralston has been a revelation so far this term. It is incredible to think of the turnaround he has enjoyed given how underwhelming it seemed when Postecoglou included him in his plans in pre-season.

And Hartson insisted that Ralston’s progress has been greater than anyone else’s within Postecoglou’s squad as he reflected on the goal-saving challenge he made.

“He smells the danger there and he gets back. He’s first in and it’s out for a corner kick. Excellent defending,” he told BT Sport.

“Ralston’s been excellent, right from the word go. Start of the season, he’s been Celtic’s most improved player. He’s got the shirt and I think the manager really likes him.

“I think Ralston’s been outstanding, he really has.”

Ralston helping set the standard at Celtic with performances this season

Ralston has his limitations. It did appear that the academy graduate had struggled to kick on in the years since he burst onto the scene.

And there may come a time – given where Celtic hope to go under Postecoglou – that Ralston needs to become more of a backup option.

But he is certainly setting the standard with his attitude since returning to the fold.

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