Celtic may have only recently secured nine major deals in the recent window, although manager Ange Postecoglou is already seemingly focusing his attention on the potential of further recruits in the near future, with the Old Firm outfit seemingly not yet satisfied with their current squad.
The Hoops could well save themselves millions next summer, however, by turning to a familiar face in the form of Mikey Johnston, with the 23-year-old currently proving his worth out on loan in Portugal.
The young Scotsman was shipped off to Vitoria Guimaraes on deadline day in search of regular game time, having endured an injury-disrupted past few seasons in Glasgow, notably making just five starts for the Scottish champions in all competitions last term.
That temporary move is already paying dividends for the fleet-footed forward as he has since scored twice and laid on one assist in just four games in all competitions already this season, notably earning comparisons to a certain Lionel Messi from teammate Tiago Silva after netting a brilliance brace in a 3-1 win over Canelas last week.
The “quality” asset – as dubbed by Vitoria assistant coach Joao Aroso – has seemingly already made a fine impression in his new surroundings, with the hope being that he can maintain such form to eventually return to his parent club full of confidence.
There is still seemingly a way back for the exciting winger with the Bhoys winger having been dubbed an “outstanding talent” by Postecoglou prior to his departure, with his recent contract extension also a possible sign that the former Scotland U21 international could still have a role to play at Celtic Park in the near future.
Johnston could well follow a similar path to one of his former teammates – having previously been described as the “new Ryan Christie” by pundit Chris Sutton – with that man Christie having endured stints out on loan before finally making his mark with the Hoops.
The 5 foot 10 ace – who joined Bournemouth on a £2.5m deal last summer – had been snapped up from Inverness Caledonian Thistle back in 2015, although would initially struggle to make his mark in Glasgow, eventually enjoying an 18-month stint on loan at Aberdeen.
That spell at Pittodrie seemingly helped to reinvigorate the playmaker as he netted 15 goals and provided 18 assists in just 57 games in all competitions, with his subsequent return to Paradise in the 2018/19 campaign seeing the left-footed starlet take his chance, providing 20 goal contributions that season.
The 34-cap gem would ultimately go on to score 41 goals and record 44 assists in 151 games for the Scottish Premiership side over the next few years, prior to joining the Cherries, having seemingly benefitted from that spell with the Dons.
The hope will be that Johnston can enjoy a similar tale to that of Christie should he continue to impress at his current temporary home, with Postecoglou likely hoping that the loanee can return refreshed ahead of next season.
While competition for places is fierce in the Hoops squad, the £720k-rated ace could potentially steal a march on Japan international Daizen Maeda, with the forward enduring a difficult start to the season with just two goals to date.
The 24-year-old has notably been particularly wasteful in front of goal of late, having played his part in the club’s early Champions League exit after missing three big chances in just four group-stage games thus far.
Celtic may well be considering a new addition to replace the profligate marksman, although the club could potentially make a wise and astute move in turning to Johnston as a possible, ideal solution instead.