Celtic winger Mikey Johnston should be in for an exciting season under Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

June 29, 2021

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston is entering his most important season as a Hoops player this season.

Last year was a total write-off. He went into the 2020/21 campaign with an ACL injury that kept him out of action until December. Yet despite impressing in a couple of cameo appearances, he barely got a look-in under Neil Lennon.

The same goes for John Kennedy during his interim spell in charge. He gave Johnston two cameo appearances after the split and that was that. This was despite the fact there was nothing to fight for over the vast majority of Kennedy’s tenure.

Johnston, in my view, is one of the most talented youngsters that’s come through the Celtic academy in some time. There hasn’t been a trickier winger to break through the ranks since Aiden McGeady. You could perhaps compare Johnston’s breakthrough to that of Ross Wallace between 2004 and 2006. However, in terms of raw talent, Johnston is ahead.

He has a monumental pre-season ahead of him. However, the appointment of Ange Postecoglou is exactly the kind of figure he needs to be taking over at the club.

The Greek-Australian’s love of integrating youth players is something that’s ingratiated him to the Celtic support further. And Johnston has the kind of talent that will undoubtedly excite the life out of Ange at Lennoxtown.

Mikey Johnston will know he’ll get opportunities under Ange Postecoglou

Mikey is, far and away, the quickest winger we have at the club. His footwork on the ball is electric when on his game, but there’s been a lack of trust put in him. A lack of faith that he can be the club’s first-choice left-winger. Even when he’s shown his creative spark in cameo appearances, it hasn’t been followed by a run in the team.

Postecoglou spoke on Friday at the fan-media event about his vision for the youth players. He stated that it’s essential to give them an opportunity and keep them at the football club. Johnston, at only 22, remains one of those youngsters.

As things stand, he’s the only left-winger currently at the football club. With Mohamed Elyounoussi back at Southampton, the position is there for Johnston to seize.

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He has the ability that will meet Postecoglou’s criteria for an opportunity. And Mikey can play knowing that he has a manager that won’t drop him should he get back amongst the goals and assists.

Ending the 2020/21 campaign with one assist in 10 games didn’t read well, but Johnston didn’t play anywhere near enough. He only bagged 244 minutes of action last season [Transfermarkt]. That’s less than three full matches.

This Johnston-Postecoglou relationship, however, looks like a match made in heaven. Here’s hoping Mikey can take his chance this season.

In other news, we take a look at the potential Dom McKay policy change that will enthuse the Celtic supporters.