Celtic may have heavily bolstered their options this month, but it can’t risk Mikey Johnston’s opportunities.
The Hoops have an absolute wonderkid on their hands here. The academy graduate has consistently wowed supporters and coaches with his dazzling feet as he boomed through the ranks at Parkhead.
It’s no surprise that Brendan Rodgers has subsequently taken a liking to him either. With 13 top-team appearances to his name this season and three competitive goals, he’s growing at an accelerated rate.
Yet, there is one lingering concern with the signings Celtic have brought in.
Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah are both exciting prospects. They’ll likely do the club a top turn over the six-month spells they’re respectively here for.
Despite that, however, you have to wonder how this can affect Johnston’s time on the pitch.
Burke is highly expected to battle James Forrest down the right. The latter has been in desperate need for some competition for a long time, and Burke looks like the natural competitor.
Is Burke a threat to Johnston?
But there are still slight concerns that he could end up battling Scott Sinclair down the left flank. Burke has experience in that position too, and therefore could battle the Englishman for that spot also.
Several pundits such as BT Sports’ Darrel Currie also believe Burke will be used to rival Sinclair.
Depends on how he settles in, but more likely to play off left
— Darrell Currie (@darrellcurrietv) January 5, 2019
Then there’s the tactical tweak that Weah’s arrival could bring.
Rodgers could revert back to the formation that worked for Celtic in pre-season. That included Odsonne Edouard playing down the left with Weah taking Moussa Dembele’s place as the front-man in a 4-3-3 style system.
Both of these scenarios would affect Johnston, as both scenarios see two players ahead of him in the pecking order down the left.
Fortunately, he’s been backed by Rodgers during the window. The Hoops manager has rebuffed any chance of him going out on loan, and wants him to stay in Glasgow and fight for his place.
Hopefully, however, Rodgers doesn’t allow him to twiddle his thumbs on the bench this season.
The new signings are all very well and good, but let’s not forget about the incredible talent Celtic already have on their books.