Mikey Johnston’s form this summer has been terrific, but the Celtic winger has admitted that his place in the team isn’t secure.
The Scotland youngster has played in 10 of Celtic’s 13 competitive matches so far this season. It’s clear he’s been first choice, with three goals and four assists to his name too.
Of course, competition for his spot is certainly heating up at the same time. Celtic have Mohamed Elyounoussi, Lewis Morgan, Jonny Hayes, and Scott Sinclair all vying for that left-wing spot.
And, as Johnston spoke at his press conference via Celtic TV yesterday, he admitted that Neil Lennon hasn’t assured him of his place. Instead, he believes that as soon as his form dips he could be out the team.
“I think everyone’s got to earn their place and if I’m not playing well then I’m not going to play but if I keep producing and scoring goals and getting assists then hopefully I’ll play.
“The gaffer always sort of gives me a lot of confidence. He’s always giving me advice. And people like Damien Duff and John Kennedy – I’m always trying to learn wee bits and bobs off everyone and add stuff to my game”
Mikey Johnston’s form surely makes the spot his for now
Generally, it would be harsh to take the left-wing spot off of Johnston anytime soon. He’s absolutely flying this season so far, and doesn’t deserve to be dropped.
However, he has confirmed that he’ll miss this Saturday’s trip to Hamilton. That poses an intriguing question regarding his replacement. It seems like the perfect opportunity to toss Mohamed Elyounoussi in, but even the likes of Hayes wouldn’t be surprising either.
Lennon will surely know in his head that nobody has come close to producing the form that Johnston has this season down the left. His place in the team may be more secure than he’s being made to believe. But giving him that bit of fear could keep him on his toes.
With a bit of luck, we are able to see something fresh in Elyounoussi this weekend. That left-wing spot could turn into a terrific battle. But for Celtic, it’s just great to have some quality cover available there.
From the outside looking in, Johnston seems to be the first-choice when everyone is fit. But the quality of Elyounoussi is so hard to ignore.
Hopefully, the Norwegian international can show us what he can do at Hamilton on Saturday if selected. But, until he does, the left-wing spot should be safe for Johnston.