Celtic really could do with a player who can change a game or make a breakthrough against a tough low-block defence. One winger reckons he has it in him to do just that and wants a chance to show it. That gives Brendan Rodgers a decision to make, as his side continues to struggle for consistency in performances and results.
It doesn’t sound like a major decision. You would expect players to want to get their opportunity. And you would expect Rodgers to give them a chance if they are ready and capable. How many though?
Mikey Johnston is the player in question. He has been at the club for a long time now, working his way up through the youth ranks to make it to the senior team. In that time he has made over 80 appearances for Celtic, many of them as a substitute. So far this season, he has appeared just thrice, the latest being the last half-hour in Rome against Lazio.
Johnston spent last season on loan at Portugese side Vitoria Guimaraes. He has also been playing recently for the Republic of Ireland national team. And it seems to have boosted his confidence.
Rodgers handed dilemma by Celtic player's comments
Johnson feels like he can make a difference. As reported by Glasgow Live, he said:
"Definitely. I feel as if I can make a difference in the team. I’ve been away a while but I have got my momentum back and my confidence back. There’s definitely competition for places. I know what I can offer the team."
From Rodgers' perspective, a fresh skilful option on the wings ought to be good news and bring something fresh. Certainly, Johnston did add more impetus to the forward line in Rome. But he also showed signs that his trickery on the ball still wasn’t matched with good decision-making or effectiveness in the final third.
Johnston has had countless chances over those years at Celtic. Different managers have provided opportunities for him to shine and show what he can offer. Unfortunately, the end product hasn’t developed since he broke into the senior team and his long history of injuries have not helped him either.