Celtic appear to be ready to let academy graduate Mikey Johnston leave the club this summer, amid interest from a former Hoops boss in the 23-year-old…
What’s the word?
According to The Scottish Sun, the young Scotsman is set to leave Parkhead on loan in the current window, with Ronny Deila’s Standard Liege believed to be one of the clubs who are interested in securing a temporary deal.
Should Celtic let Johnston leave on loan?
The report suggests that the forward would be willing to move abroad if required in search of regular game time, although he also has offers from a number of British clubs, with sides both in England and Scotland eyeing a potential swoop.
Although the Glasgow-born gem is said to be ‘highly rated’ by the Old Firm outfit, title-winning coach Ange Postecoglou is believed to be willing to sanction an exit for the player, as he attempts to rejuvenate his career.
Come back to bite him
Although it looks as if it will only be a long departure for the £720k-rated winger, the decision to allow Johnston to leave could well backfire for the Hoops boss, particularly ahead of another gruelling campaign in which the Scottish champions will be in need of adequate depth.
The £7.9k-per-week menace has undoubtedly struggled for form and fitness in recent seasons, although there is clearly still a real quality player in there somewhere, having been dubbed “incredibly talented” by teammate Joe Hart a few months ago.
There had been high hopes following the youngster’s debut back in 2017 during Brendan Rodgers’ time in charge, with Charlie Christie even likening the former Scotland U21 international to England legend Paul Gascoigne, due to his brilliance on the ball.
Although he has since gone on to make just 31 starts from 79 games in all competitions for the club, Johnston is no doubt a player who has the makings to be a real star, with a regular run in the side under Postecoglou perhaps all that is needed to unlock that magic.
While the 56-year-old has insisted that there is “real competition” for a starting berth on the flanks, the former Yokohama boss did admit that “Mikey is one of those players, if he stays healthy, he has ability”, with it not beyond the realms of possibility that he could force his way into the side next term.
Alas, it looks as if the highly regarded prospect will have to go elsewhere to get his chance of a regular role, although it would be no real surprise to see him begin to flourish in new surroundings, with Postecoglou set to be left with egg on his face if Johnston does start to rip it up out on loan.