Celtic winger Mikey Johnston is a player with enormous potential at Parkhead. He is also an individual with vibrant qualities, someone who should have been front and centre of Ange Postecoglou’s rebuild in Glasgow.
However, every now and then you come across the sad tale of an injury-prone footballer being robbed of their professional career.
Their careers are short, and when they’re not playing, their life takes on a weird meaning. They aren’t kicking a ball around and have the limelight taken away from them. They also have the adrenaline of a matchday in front of a packed crowd sapped away.
For some players this could be a good thing, as it gives time to re-focus and re-energise. However, with someone like Johnston, it can only be a bad thing.
The forward is still only 22 years of age and is trying to make his way in the game. Sadly, you’d feel as though his time to make an impression at Parkhead is waning.
Unfortunately, Johnston has also missed the early exchanges of Postecoglou’s reign after sustaining a problem in a pre-season clash with Charlton. He returned to the field in the defeat to Livingston last Sunday but unfortunately the youngster has since suffered another crushing blow.
After the forward was absent from Celtic’s squad to face Raith Rovers on Thursday, the manager revealed that he had picked up an injury in training.
This is devastating news for Johnston, who is in a position where he is probably running out of time in Glasgow.
His contract doesn’t expire for another few years, but with Postecoglou making such sweeping changes to the playing staff and Karamoko Dembele coming through the ranks, opportunities will be few and far between.
It sounds harsh but it might just be time to cut ties altogether once January comes around.
It’s a shame because, with the likes of Mohamed Elyounoussi and Ryan Christie departing over the summer, there was a vacancy open in the wide attacking areas.
The latter is someone to whom the 5 foot 9 wizard has even been compared. Tweeting back in December 2018, Chris Sutton wrote: “Is Mikey Johnston the new Ryan Christie? Celtic’s fringe players at the start of the season coming to the fore when it counts.”
The club’s number 19 has very rarely been seen since and it’s unlikely that we’ll see too much more of him this season if Celtic have a fully fit squad.