As reported by The Scottish Sun, Celtic’s Mikey Johnston is at the centre of an international tug-of-war between Scotland and Republic of Ireland, echoing the situations of Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy in the past.
Johnston had a wonderful debut for Celtic last week, playing the first hour of their match against St Johnstone and shining throughout. He was a constant threat and even assists Patrick Roberts for the opening goal.
His potential his huge and now the FAI are looking to secure his services for their national team.
That’s according to The Scottish Sun, who say the Irish national body have already contacted the player and Celtic, making it clear they want him on board.
It’s unknown if Johnston, who has represented Scotland at U19 level, is open to such an offer. The Scottish FA are aware of the situation and are said to be hoping the fact he has already been part of youth international squads will be significant in the young star’s eventual decision.
It of course is reminiscent of a former Celtic player, Aiden McGeady, who chose to play for Republic of Ireland, much to the ire of the Tartan Army. That was a controversial decision at the time with many not understanding the Celtic winger identifying more with an Irish identity than a Scottish one.
Whatever happens in Johnston’s case, parties involved will not want a repeat of that drama. Should the player decide to play for Republic of Ireland, steps should be taken to protect the player from the backlash to what is a personal decision.