Celtic were having firm superiority in the title race until Sunday afternoon when they suffered a shocking home defeat against Old Firm rivals Rangers. But the Bhoys are still on the track to conquer ‘nine in a row’ Premiership silverware and therefore, are gearing up for the rest of the season with potential winter investment to bolster the squad.
The Hoops have been linked with a January move for Slovan Bratislava striker Andraz Sporar along with Cruzeiro centre-half Fabricio Bruno. But they are also focusing on promoting the youth and utilising the club’s esteemed talent pool to build a legacy in the long run. Michael Johnston has been the Bhoys’ breakthrough star over the past couple of campaigns, and his emergency got rewarded recently with a lucrative five-year deal to extend his stay at Parkhead.
The 20-year-old graduate expressed his ecstasy after penning the contract and labelled it as “a great present to have” during the Christmas eve.
“Celtic are delighted to announce that Mikey Johnston has signed a new five-year deal that will see him remain at the club until at least the summer of 2025.
Mikey is another successful graduate of the Celtic Youth Academy, having come through the ranks at the club, and he has made 45 first-team appearances to date, scoring 11 goals.”
The club officially announced the news on Saturday afternoon, a day ahead of their derby defeat against the Bears.
Why He Is Integral To Lennon’s Plan?
Celtic are lauded for their ability to produce talents and Johnston, in particular, has been a revelation under Lennon so far this term. Despite missing out a couple of month’s football through a groin injury, the youngster has found the net six times in all competitions and exhibited his flexibility by featuring across the frontline. He has also been effective while operating as a ‘number 10’ and the club are indeed blessed to have a talent of his stature making strides through their highly-acclaimed academy ranks.
Why Celtic Will Need Him Beyond This Season?
The champions roped in Mohamed Elyounoussi on loan from Southampton late in the summer window. The Norwegian has been immense while featuring down the flank, but his long-term future in Glasgow remains uncertain amid the Saints’ valuation and the player’s wage demands. Scott Sinclair has been a forgotten name whereas Jonny Hayes, the versatile veteran, is still unaware where his future lies with his contract set to expire at the end of the ongoing campaign.
Marian Shved and Lewis Morgan have been promising but are yet to settle in and deliver. This leaves the club with two homegrown figures in James Forrest and Mikey Johnston who could serve Celtic for years to come. Although the former is far more experienced having represented the Hoops for almost a decade, his presence would certainly help Johnston to flourish further and eventually succeed the 28-year-old in the attacking third.
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