Mikey Johnston completes Celtic loan exit but not before surprise extension

By John McGinley

September 2, 2022

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has completed his season-long loan move to Portuguese top-flight Vitoria Guimaraes, but not before signing a year’s extension to his current contract.

In December 2019, Johnstone put pen to paper on a deal that kept him at the Bhoys until the summer of 2025. That now appears to have been taken into 2026, with the attacker spending the year in Portugal.

It signals that the club still have plenty of faith in his future and very much sees this switch abroad as a development loan opportunity, rather than simply getting him off the books.

Johnston has found his playing time limited at Celtic in recent times, partly due to injury but also just because competition has increased in the wide attacking areas.

He played 20 times for the club last term but only five of those were starts and only one came in 2022 – with no minutes under his belt at all in the early stages of this season.

The loan to Portugal seems very much a curated move for him – one that the club and the player have worked closely on to best help him shine as a player.

Vitoria are competitive in that league, and I doubt he’ll have moved without some sort of indication that he will get plenty of football on a week-to-week basis.

It has long been suggested he needs a change of scenery, away from the injury perceptions and, at times harsh, criticism from supporters.

Hopefully he can make the impact he’ll be dreaming of and return to Glasgow ready to compete for a trusted spot in Postecoglou’s core group.

In other news, Oliver Abildgaard reveals family connection to Celtic, clues in supporters on playing style.