Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila discusses interest in Bhoys attacker

By Dave Flanigan

July 30, 2022

Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila has confirmed Standard Liege’s interest in Celtic winger Mikey Johnston.

The 23 year old has endured an injury-ravaged Celtic career, with manager Ange Postecoglou confirming that the club are actively discussing Johnston’s future with him amid links to the Deila-led Belgian side.

As reported by The Daily Record, when asked directly about Johnston and another target, the former Salernitana defender Stefan Stranberg, Deila said: “I know both of them, but we don’t know how it’s going to go. A lot of players interest us and if we could recruit all those we wanted, it would be easy.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“We continue to scrutinise the market and we don’t want it to go wrong at the moment. when we are trying to sign a player for the club.”

The winger’s contract runs to 2025 and it is expected that any move away this window would likely be on loan rather than permanently.

A loan move would suit all parties

Although Johnston was still a youth player when Deila was Celtic manager and was only given his debut by Brendan Rodgers in 2016-17, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Norwegian had been aware of the then-highly regarded youngster at the time.

As Postecoglou himself said, there is and always has clearly been a player in Mikey Johnston, the question will merely be whether he’ll get a consistent run of games to put some momentum together.

Despite featuring fairly regularly in 2018-19 and 2019-20, scoring 11 times across the two season, the 23 year old has played infrequently since, making just 28 appearances since the football returned after lockdown.

A loan move would surely suit all parties, giving Johnston the opportunity – should he stay injury-free of course – to play more consistently in a different environment away from the pressures of Celtic.

Whilst its possible that his future lies elsewhere, it would be a shame if Johnston left Celtic without the opportunity to regularly showcase the talent he’s always had.

In other news: Exclusive: Leicester City not looking to sign Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley