Brendan Rodgers has enjoyed a thoroughly successful career since moving to the SPFL after he made his name in the Premier League with spells at both Swansea City and Liverpool.
Rogers is a manager who nearly wrote himself into Liverpool’s history books by clinching their first ever Premier League title in the 2013/14 season, but Steven Gerrard slipped on the half-way line and we all know what happened next.
Liverpool’s success that season was built upon the foundations of a dynamic front-three dubbed the ‘SSS’ which contained Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling.
The latter was only a teenager at the time completing his second full season at senior level, and he played a starring role in Liverpool’s title push by notching 9 goals and 7 assists from 33 league appearances, including the opener in a title-race 6-pointer against Manchester City.
Sterling was thrown straight into the senior squad by Rodgers after he arrived at Anfield and the level of trust which he placed in the teenager suggested that the Welshman is willing to give young players a chance when he recognises a strong level of potential and determination to succeed.
With that to consider, it’s no surprise to see that Rodgers has promoted Celtic’s 19-year-old wonderkid Mikey Johnston to the senior squad this season.
Like Sterling, Johnston is a talented left-winger who is blessed with blistering pace and incredible ball control.
Although it’s too early to make bold predictions regarding his scope for improvement, there’s no doubt that he possesses raw ability in abundance and, if Rodgers manages his development as effectively as he managed Sterling’s at Liverpool, he will become one of the most feared wingers in the SPFL in the years to come.
A natural dribbler by trade, Johnston has all the tools to get supporters off their seats at Celtic Park and become a Scotland international in the future.
And with 2 SPFL substitute appearances already under his belt this season, it might not be too long before he establishes himself as a first-team regular.
Rogers proved he has a talent for getting the best out of talented young players with Sterling at Liverpool and he now has a brilliant opportunity to emulate that success with Johnston at Celtic.
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