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JOHNSTON JOY AT NEW DEAL

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MIKEY JOHNSTON has committed his long-term future to Celtic after agreeing a contract that will run until 2025.

The exciting wing raiser came through the youth system and has gone on to make 45 appearances for the first team, scoring 11 goals.

A club statement said: “Celtic are delighted to announce that Mikey Johnston has signed a new five-year deal.

“Now 20 years old, he made his debut on May 6, 2017, playing for nearly an hour in a 4-1 home win over St Johnstone, while his first goal came just over a year ago, when he netted in a 3-0 win at Celtic Park over Motherwell on December 19. He followed that up with two goals in Celtic’s next game – a 3-0 home win over Dundee.

“And on the final day of last season, he scored both goals in a 2-1 home win against Hearts on the day when the team lifted the Premiership trophy in recognition of their eighth league title in a row.

“This season, he has scored six goals , including the first competitive goal of the campaign in a 3-1 away win over FK Sarajevo, while he also netted the team’s first goal of the current Premiership season, opening the scoring against St Johnstone in a 7-0 Flag Day win at Paradise.

“Having returned to the first-team squad following an injury lay-off, Mikey has made a great impact in recent months, scoring in the 3-1 Europa League win over Rennes and following that up with a strike against Ross County in Dingwall to give Neil Lennon’s side a 4-1 victory.”

Johnston, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “It’s a great present to have. Christmas was great with the family and I’m just delighted now to get this done.

“I’ve had the downside of the injury, so that halted my progress a wee bit this year, but I’m just trying to get back fit and get as many games as possible to get my stats up. There are always going to be ups and downs in football and there are things you can learn from. If you can overcome it mentally, then that will hold you in good stead.

“I’m always happy to help the team wherever I’m needed and I’m always happy to score goals and create goals for the team when I can. Hopefully, I can keep doing that in the future.”

Johnson added: “Callum McGregor and James Forrest are great players to look up to. They’re always willing to give me advice whenever I need it and I’m always happy to learn.

“Neil Lennon has been great for me and all the advice he gives me is brilliant for learning as a player and developing. Everything I’ve learned from him and the coaching staff has been brilliant so far.

“I’ll always go to John Kennedy and Damien Duff and try to learn from them – we’ll do analysis and things like that and they’re always trying to lead me on the right path.

“Damien’s done so much in the game and he’s got so much knowledge to give and I’m just trying to take it all in.”Johnston’s form has been so outstanding it had forced Scott Sinclair into the shadows at the Hoops.

The 30-year-old Englishman, who cost £4.5million when he arrived from Aston Villa in August 2016, has started only one competitive game in this campaign, the 2-0 loss to Cluj in Romania in the Europa League Group E match earlier this month.

Sinclair is out of contract at the end of the season and looks likely to move on.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Rangers this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

 

 
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