MIKEY JOHNSTON is a player we have been shouting about on The Celtic Star for quite some time now. It was no surprise to us that he performed so well at the weekend, scoring his first ever Celtic goal in the process in the 4-1 win over Standard Liege at Celtic Park.
Such is the strength in depth in the Celtic squad in the wide midfield positions, there is always going to be a real challenge for any young player to break through and establish himself as a first team regular.
Brendan Rodgers talked about his own problem in not being able to provide sufficient game time to some players and hinted that this could mean the likes of Ryan Christie and Scott Allan going out on loan again or moving on completely.
Mikey Johnston though is a particularly special talent and the Celtic manager will want to do what is best for his development – that could mean a carefully selected loan deal or it could be in the form of showing some real intention to give him his chance this season at Celtic.
Rodgers clearly thinks he is good enough.
The 19 year old Celtic star, speaking after Saturday’s win, had all of this on his mind.
“I enjoyed the goal, of course; it was my first at Celtic Park so I’m delighted to have got off the mark and all my family was here to see it,” Mikey said.
“I’m still young but it’s all about getting games so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully, I can break through this year but if not there are other options.
“I’ll keep working hard to show the manager that I can be trusted. I’m a Celtic fan so I want to be here as long as possible and break into the first team.
“If this isn’t my year then I’ll need to go somewhere else to play. I’ll see what the gaffer thinks. But I train every day with guys who came through the ranks – players like Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor and James Forrest – and they’re always giving me advice.”
One manager who has a particular interest in Johnston is Neil Lennon and at the vert start of the John McGinn to Celtic story – well before Celtic made their first approach for the player – the rumours coming out of Easter Road were that Lennon was interested in getting Johnston on loan as part of the deal that would also have seen Scott Allan sign for Hibs. Celtic though, were not keen on loaning Johnston out.
Maybe that has changed. Either way Brendan will do what’s best for this hugely talented teenager who can make a real impression at Celtic in years to come.