What Ange Postecoglou has said about Mikey Johnston's Celtic future as intrigue continues
You don’t have to go too far back to hear what Ange Postecoglou thinks about the future of Mikey Johnston at Celtic.
Johnston earned rave reviews in the Irish media after an impressive debut for the Republic of Ireland last night.
The on-loan Hoops winger played a major role in Ireland’s winner against Latvia, and could have had two fine goals on another night.
The display has led to much discussion today about his future at Celtic.
Johnston is currently out on loan with Portuguese top-flight outfit Vitoria de Guimaraes, but a summer return to Celtic looms.
Postecoglou was asked about his future after news of Johnston switching allegiance to Ireland became public knowledge earlier this month.
He said: “Obviously, that’s a decision he’s made after giving it plenty of thought with the people around him.
“I think international football is a fantastic part of a footballer’s career. It gives you new experiences, different experiences.
“It allows you to take your game to another level because of the different context international football brings.
“In terms of beyond that, he’s playing more regularly [in Portugal]. We needed him to play more football and he’s doing that.
“At the end of the year we’ll assess all that and decide what the best thing is for his future.” (Celtic YouTube, 7:30 onwards)
So Ange wasn’t giving much away, in typical fashion. To be fair to Celtic’s manager, what was he meant to say?
“Yeah, Mikey will be back starting every week once he returns from his holiday in Portugal.” Unlikely.
The reality is that Johnston will return to Lennoxtown in the summer, and will once again have to try and force his way in to Postecoglou’s plans.
It’s an intriguing situation given that Johnston has produced for Celtic in the past, but that the club now employs the likes of Jota, Daizen Maeda and Sead Haksabanovic on the wing.
Many Celtic fans have already written off Johnston’s prospects of making it at the club, but he need only look at the likes of Anthony Ralston and Greg Taylor for inspiration in proving the doubters wrong.
He’ll get another chance to shine. Let’s hope he can take it.