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Celtic: Frank McAvennie urges Mikey Johnston to seek pastures new

Celtic: Frank McAvennie urges Mikey Johnston to seek pastures new -Celtic News

Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie has delivered a damning assessment of Mikey Johnston’s immediate future at Parkhead. 

The lowdown: Bit part player

A product of the youth system at Lennoxtown, Johnston made 14 appearances for the Hoops’ youth sides before providing an assist on his Scottish Premiership debut against St. Johnstone in 2018.

Since then, the 23-year-old former Scottish youth international winger has made a further 79 first-team outings for the Hoops, directly contributing to 21 goals in the process.

Having attracted interest over the weekend from Belgian top-flight outfit Standard Liege (via Anthony Joseph, Sky Sports), one heavily invested pundit has provided his verdict on what could be best for Johnston…

The latest: ‘Got to go’

Speaking to Football Insider after hearing of Standard Liege’s interest, McAvennie – who represented the Glasgow giants on 85 occasions across two spells – suggested that the 11-cap Under 21 starlet has ‘got to go’ in this window.

He said: “He’s an enigma really. I like him, he’s got such good talent but he’s not going to get into the first team now. He’s just not going to play.

“I think, Ronny Deila, he’s the manager of Standard Liege, he knows him. I think it would be good for him if it’s on loan to go and prove a point and maybe come back and get your place and come back into the team.

“I just don’t see where he’s going to play at Celtic. There’s so many players that weren’t playing yesterday [31 July] that are coming in before Mikey. I think they should probably let him go and build up because he’s too good to sit on the bench or in the stand. But I don’t think he’s good enough to be in the first team.

“I think he’s got to go, whether that’s on loan or selling him. I just think he’s got to go and play. I think it’s going to happen before the end of the window that’s for sure.”

The verdict: Refresh needed

Despite bursting onto the scene in Glasgow, Johnston has struggled to kick on at the club and opportunities appear to be few and far between under Ange Postecoglou.

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Last season, the £720,000-valued youngster – who was described as ‘sensational’ by club captain Callum McGregor – only provided one assist in 20 fleeting appearances across all competitions, a distinct drop off in output from a six goal and six assist 2019/20 campaign.

Left out of the squad for the opening day victory over Aberdeen at Parkhead alongside fellow want-away star James McCarthy, the talented Scot looks set for another term on the periphery of matters at best.

Therefore, with the likes of Daizen Maeda, Jota and Kyogo Furuhashi all rightfully ahead in the pecking order when it comes to wide attacking options, sanctioning a loan exit in the hope that Johnston can recapture his best form appears to be the most suitable option for all parties.

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Article title: Celtic: Frank McAvennie urges Mikey Johnston to seek pastures new

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