Former Scotland international Alan Hutton has given his backing to Celtic winger Mikey Johnston after the youngster suffered another injury setback recently.
The 20-year-old suffered a suspected knee ligament injury in the win over St Johnstone at the end of January and Herald Scotland quoted Hoops manager Neil Lennon as saying after that game that he may be without the player for up to three months.
Johnston had already missed almost three months of the season over the latter part of 2019 following a thigh problem that he incurred in September and, despite being set for another lengthy spell on the treatment table, Hutton believes that the youngster can “come back fitter and stronger” from his latest body blow.
He told Football Insider: “He’s gone off with a knee problem and it’s very disappointing. He’s definitely that guy that gives you a little bit extra like he can on his day. He gets the bums off the seats and it seems the fans like him, Neil Lennon trusts him.
“He played in the final and all that so it’s going to be difficult for him but he’s young, he’s just willing to improve and he just looks like a really good lad to be honest but I’m sure he’ll come back fitter and stronger and get his chance again.”
Hutton makes a valid point about the firm possibility of Johnston making a strong comeback once he recovers from his knee injury. The winger had been out for nearly three months earlier in the season before returning to action at home to Rennes in the Europa League. He capped his 23-minute substitute appearance that night with the concluding goal in a 3-1 victory which guaranteed first place in their group for Celtic (as per BBC).
The 20-year-old followed that up three days later by netting in the 4-1 win at Ross County, again making a telling impact off the bench, and then provided the assist for Scott Brown’s stoppage time winner against Hamilton in the Hoops’ next match. Within a week of his comeback from a three-month layoff, Johnston had scored two goals and set up a decisive last-gasp winner.
Hutton’s praise of the youngster as a player who “gets the bums off the seats” is perhaps a testament to his solid goal involvement figures. He has played 1,124 minutes of football this season, scoring six goals and providing the same number of assists, averaging one of each per 187.33 minutes. Johnston may have had a disruptive, injury-hit campaign but he has already shown an ability to quickly put such setbacks behind him, which makes Hutton’s confidence in the winger doing so again quite understandable.
Celtic fans, do you share Hutton’s confidence in Johnston’s ability to bounce back quickly from his latest injury? Comment below with your views!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience