When our new boy signed for us yesterday he was given Mikey Johnston’s squad number, and that has led to a lot of online speculation that perhaps Mikey is not long for this club. He’s out on loan right now, but scheduled to return next season.
There is now some question over whether or not he actually will.
But let’s be honest, that question’s always existed and it’s always been valid.
Mikey is a good player, but is he quite good enough to make it in this team now?
The manager believes in him, which is why he agreed to give him a contract extension before he left and Celtic has been very clear with his current club that they won’t allow a permanent deal.
Things may have changed since that was agreed, but I rather think not. This Champions League registration issue will be occupying the minds of plenty of people inside our club, and there’s a chance that Mikey is seen as part of the solution.
More than that, I genuinely do believe that Ange sees him as an important part of the team going forward. Mikey is talented, and we’ve all known that for years, so I’m not putting too much store in the simple act of his squad number going to somebody else.
Mikey isn’t using it right now, and he’d hardly be the first player to leave on loan and come back to a different status in the squad. Mikey needed a fresh start, and this is a clear sign of him getting one.
Nobody is asking the other important question, which is where our number 7 shirt is destined to end up, and that one could be even more interesting than this.
Mikey Johnston might benefit from leaving Celtic. That’s not a new idea, not a revolutionary suggestion which has come out of left field but something some of us have been openly discussing for a long time.
But the simple fact is that all we know is that he’s lost, for the moment, his current squad number.
Yet there are other squad numbers … and he may yet surprise us.