Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that attacker Mikey Johnston will not be leaving the club in the January transfer window.
The 19-year-old struggled for game time at the start of the season but came on strong in December with three goals in his last three games for the club.
And Rodgers has revealed his January fate: “Mikey has done very well so he won’t be going out,” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “If you look at the physicality of how we play you need to have that [strength].
“His strength is his speed and technique but the rest will come with time and with him focusing on his life as a footballer and making it his life to improve his body and get himself robust. He has that electrifying speed that can really hurt teams in behind and once he’s in he can finish.”
This is interesting from Rodgers. A few weeks ago Johnston would have been a prime candidate to go out on loan, struggling as he was for game time. At the tender age that he’s at it would have been good for him to get away from Parkhead and play a bit more regular football. However, he enjoyed a tremendous final month of 2018 and he is now very much in Rodgers’ plans moving forward. We’ve seen this season with Ryan Christie how someone can come from the fringes and become a key player for the Hoops. Christie was in a similar situation to Johnston at the start of the campaign but he is now almost undroppable for Rodgers. Johnston may not get to that stage this term but it will be a big boost for the youngster to know that the manager thinks highly enough of him to block any attempts to snare him away from Parkhead. Let’s see what he can do in the second half of the season.