Stephen Kenny shares what he has in store for Celtic winger Mikey Johnston after big Ireland decision

By Giuseppe Labellarte

March 3, 2023

Celtic loanee Mikey Johnston is gearing up to play international football for the Republic of Ireland.

And manager Stephen Kenny is looking forward to linking up with a player who’ll bring something new to his squad.

Johnston is currently away from Parkhead on loan, having linked up with Vitoria de Guimaraes for the season.

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

The 23-year-old has made 20 appearances in all competitions for the Portuguese club. Prior to that, Johnston made 79 appearances in green and white, registering 21 goal contributions.

His Celtic contract runs until 2026, so it remains to be seen what’s in store for him at Parkhead next season.

One thing that’s certain is Johnston’s international future. The attacker featured for Scotland at youth level, but is now awaiting clearance to switch allegiances.

As per the Irish Times, The FAI are waiting for “paperwork” from FIFA ahead of confirming Johnston’s switch from Scottish to Irish international player.

‘I expect him to be important’

Kenny believes Johnston offers a different dimension to what James McClean and Robbie Brady currently bring to the table.

He also plans to give the Hoops on-loan talent a lot of involvement during their European qualifying campaign.

“Mikey has attributes that, to be honest, we probably don’t have in the squad,” the Irish Times quotes Kenny as saying.

“A winger of that ilk, a right-footed left-winger who can dribble and take people inside or outside and has a good final pass.

“I expect him to be important and very much be involved in the campaign ahead.”

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Providing the formalities are completed in time, Kenny is expected to include him in this month’s senior squad.

The Republic of Ireland host Latvia at the Aviva Stadium in a friendly on 22 March.

Five days later, Dublin will play host to World Cup finalists France for a Euro 2024 qualifier.