Celtic fringe man Mikey Johnston set for deadline day Portugal loan move

By Dave Flanigan

September 1, 2022

Celtic fringe man Mikey Johnstone is set to complete a deadline-day move to Vitoria de Guimarães in the Portuguese top flight.

The 23-year-old has found playing time limited this season at Celtic and has been tipped for a loan spell to find regular first-team football for the majority of the transfer window.

According to The Athletic, Johnston will complete his loan move ahead of the window closing tonight, joining the side that finished sixth in the Primeira Liga last season.

Johnston regularly featured in Ange Postecoglou’s side before the winter break last season – including playing in Celtic’s Premier Sports Cup Final win over Hibs – but hasn’t played a single minute of first-team football this season.

He was heavily linked with a move to Standard Liege to join with former Celtic manager Ronny Deila earlier in the window, but nothing ever materialised.

A move that suits all parties

Despite a starring role under then-manager Neil Lennon at the start of the 2019-20 season, Johnston has been beset with injuries since, never truly cementing a place in the side or putting any sort of consistent form together.

An unbroken run of games would help the youth academy graduate put some sort of form together, something he’s unlikely to get in Paradise this season with significant recruits in attack over the last two transfer windows.

Should the move be completed, he will join several other fringe players like Vasilis Barkas, Ismaila Soro, Albian Ajeti, and Liam Scales in leaving Paradise on loan this summer, as Postecoglou has looked to trim the squad ahead of Celtic’s Champions League campaign.

It seems that this is a move that suits all parties, and whether Johnston’s future lies at Celtic Park or not, few would begrudge him a successful spell in Portugal.

In other news: Confirmed: Champions League opponents Shakhtar sign former Celtic winger