Callum McGregor praises Celtic talent Mikey Johnston after injury comeback

By Euan Davidson

October 29, 2021

Celtic youngster Mikey Johnston has earned praise from his captain Callum McGregor after his return from a long injury lay-off.

Johnston had been out since the pre-season, following a friendly against Bristol City [Daily Record]. It was a set-back amongst set-backs, having missed so much of the 20-21 campaign.

Now, though, he’s getting into the first-team, and performing extremely well. Against Hibernian, he gave Scotland right-back Paul McGinn a torrid evening with his trickery and movement.

After cameo appearances against Ferencvaros and St Johnstone, you could sense a start was coming. Now, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has a brilliant problem, trying to figure out his most effective front three. That’s without James Forrest, who is on the comeback trail himself.

McGregor said of Johnston [Herald]:

“He’s such a brilliant talent, bags of ability, bags of potential and he’s one as well that the manager’s asking a lot of him physically.

“He’s responding really well and the guys are doing some great work with him in the physio department and sports science to really get him to a level where he can go and make that impact.

“Against Hibs I thought he was sensational.”

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Celtic winger Mikey Johnston deserves praise after repeated injury woes

It was easy to actually forget how good Mikey Johnston can be. We hadn’t seen him properly in the team for so long, that it was almost hard to remember how dynamic and technically gifted he is.

Against Hibs, we saw him on extremely impressive form. He was more than just a handful, he was drawing pairs of defenders when on the ball, and creating space in the box.

Alongside Kyogo, Abada and Jota, Johnston is a technically gifted, fast and productive forward. At the risk of using one of the worst clichés in football, he’s almost like a new signing.

Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

Yes, sorry. But he really is.

The Celtic Academy graduate is another option for Ange Postecoglou to use this season. Whether it’s giving defenders a torrid time from the first whistle, or being brought on to exploit tiring defenders, you know he’ll be used frequently if his fitness allows.

McGregor, who typically says exactly what he means, is clearly really impressed. He’s definitely not alone there, it just that many of us needed some reminding of how talented Mikey Johnston is.

Read more: Report: Celtic set for VAR vote in early 2022 during season of shoddy refereeing