"We have to enjoy him"; Euro club confirm on-loan Celtic man set for summer return as wingers impact praised

By Lewis Laird

January 3, 2023

On-loan Celtic man Mikey Johnston has been praised for his attitude during his temporary out in Portugal with Vitoria de Guimaraes.

The club’s vice president also stated there is no chance of the club keeping Johnston past his current loan stay as he gets set for a return to Parkhead in the summer.

The last few years have been a tough time for Johnston due to injury issues after making his breakthrough into the first team from the academy.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Having featured under Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon and Ange Postecoglou, the winger has quite been able to hold down a starting role after several absences through injury.

However, in the summer of 2022, he was given the opportunity to head out on loan in an attempt to put his injury woes behind him and play regular football once again.

After settling into his new club, that is precisely what Johnston has done, featuring for tp-flight Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes 13 times so far this season, picking up six-goal contributions.

With Portuguese football getting back underway in recent weeks and the January transfer window also opening, the question was raised to Vitoria de Guimaraes vice president Nuno Leite about the possibility of Johnston remaining at the club permanently.

Speaking in a recent interview, Leite revealed that there is no option to buy on Johnston’s loan deal as he insisted there was no chance of a permanent stay.

He was also full of praise for the Celtic academy graduate as his attitude was praised and he insisted that the club must enjoy the winger whilst they can.

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

He said [O Jogo]: “It’s a loan without an option to buy and, sadly, Vitória doesn’t have the capacity to acquire players of this quality permanently.

“We have to enjoy him until the end of the season. He is a great player, an extraordinary professional who helps the group. Unfortunately, Vitória won’t be able to keep him”, he said, telling O Jogo about episodes that exemplify “a different culture that should be underlined and praised”.

“As a manager, I have seen something very rare that we are not used to in football. When he is substituted, he apologises for his display when the game doesn’t go his way. “Sorry, this is not my football, I’m very disappointed.”

Mikey Johnston set for Parkhead summer return as winger aims to rejuvenate Celtic career.

There is no doubting the talent that Mikey Johnston possesses, and that is the exact reason he signed a new contract extension before heading out on loan.

However, it has been a frustrating few years for him and Parkhead due to no fault of his own through injury.

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

His spell on loan has provided Johnston with the opportunity to rejuvenate his Hoops career, and he appears to be impressing out in Portugal.

Here’s hoping he can continue to perform with Vitoria de Guimaraes and stay injury free from now until the end of the season.

Before he returns to rejoin Ange Postecoglou’s squad in the summer for pre-season preparations, and fingers crossed, he will come back an even better and more complete player.

In other news, Celtic man named on prestigious UEFA list of breakout stars for 2023.