GARY MACKAY-STEVEN can be Celtic’s sensation in Europe this season, according to Stefan Johansen.
The Hoops are one goal ahead as they prepare for their Champions League qualifying return leg against Azerbaijan’s Qarabag on Wednesday.
And the Norwegian midfielder is confident the Hoops can manoeuvre their way towards the next stage of Europe’s elite competition.
Johansen said: “Gary has been great since coming into the team. He is quick on the ball, he gives us pace and width up front.
“He is great on a one-v-one and it is great to have players who can do something that little bit different.”Gary can score goals, he can create opportunities and against Qarabag, we know that if we take just one chance we could probably get ourselves through and into the next round.
“Having players such as Gary can give us that something extra up front, but he is also very good at helping out defensively which is what we all have to be thinking of.”
Mackay-Steven will be hoping for more game time in Baku in midweek than he got in the Europa League match against Inter Milan in the San Siro stadium last season.
Ronny Deila took off the winger following Virgil van Dijk’s first-half dismissal and put on substitute Efe Ambrose to shore up the defence.
The Italian players looked relieved because GMS looked to be a real threat with his speed and he was denied only by an instinctive save from the keeper when he got through early in the game.
Celtic, of course, went out 4-3 on aggregate when Inter scored the winning goal in the last minute.
Johansen is adamant you will see a man on a mission in Azerbaijan on Wednesday.
He added: “If he keeps playing the way he has been playing, then he will be a very important player for us this season.”
By CQN Magazine