Mikey Johnston Ireland decision has been years in the making; Celtic loanee could make rapid debut

By Hamish Carton

March 2, 2023

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has opted to play his international football for the Republic of Ireland, according to reports.

Independent.ie say that the Scottish born winger has opted to switch allegiance to Ireland, for whom he qualifies due to his grandparents.

The report also says that FIFA clearance is imminent and Johnston could even be in the squad for the home games against Latvia and France later this month.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Johnston has been out on loan at Portuguese outfit Vitoria de Guimaraes this season, but still has another three-and-a-half years to run on his Celtic deal.

The attacker has featured at youth level for Scotland, and his switch of allegiance will be a surprise to many.

Former Hoops man Aiden McGeady made a similar move at the start of the century, while current Celtic midfielder James McCarthy is another who opted for Ireland over Scotland.

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Johnston should be applauded for the brave move, and the ambition shown to make an impact at international level.

The decision is hardly a rash one either. The Independent report says the Football Association of Ireland have been aware of Johnston since before he made his Celtic debut in May 2017.

Johnston was 18 at that stage, and is still just 23, so Celtic and Ireland could benefit massively from his undoubted talent.

It will be interesting to see what part he plays next season.

In other news, there was late disappointment for Scott Brown and Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup last night