Right-back Alistair Johnston has highlighted CF Montreal’s desire to “move mountains” as the key to his transfer from Nashville SC.
Johnston was among the best right-backs in the MLS last season over his 28 appearances and was rewarded with his first 18 senior internationals for the Canadian national team.
After a couple of weeks of speculation, Johnston completed a move back to his home country, where Montreal paid $ 1 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) for his services. Nashville also retains a 10% sales clause starting at $ 1 million if the defender is transferred again in the future.
Johnston has received a healthy salary increase after his move to Montreal, but he insists that it was the feeling of being wanted that made the move so attractive.
“Money is as much about it as it is about anything else,” Johnston said during a video conference (via the Calgary Herald). “You want to be somewhere where you feel like you’re wanted. And I’ve always felt wanted in Nashville. It just felt like Montreal was willing to move mountains – and move everything – to come and get me. And that was it. something that really stood out to me and made me excited about this potential move. ”
Still just 23, much has changed for Johnston over the past 12 months, from a relative rookie to the starting right-back for one of the strongest Canadian teams in recent times.
? @_a_johnston #CFMTL pic.twitter.com/LowonbilI7
– CF Montréal (@clubdefootmtl) 28 December 2021
But as performance levels increase, so does the pressure. For Johnston, this is not a bad thing.
“When I was in Nashville, if I made a mistake, people would say ‘he’s still a rookie, he’s still one of those young guys who just finished college,’ ‘he said. “Now I am a Canadian national team player. They paid a large transfer fee to get hold of me, so the press will come. But as a football player, you want that pressure.”
Johnston continued: “I’m looking forward to a bigger role. I know it’s a young team compared to the national team. In Nashville I was the youngest starter, but I’m looking at the back line here and I’m potentially one of the old guys ( and) I can not even grow a beard yet. “
CF Montreal kicks off its 2022 MLS season away in Orlando City on Sunday, February 27th.
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