MIKEY JOHNSTON has revealed he spoke to Filipe Jota before agreeing his season-long loan switch to Vitoria Guimaraes.
The winger made the move just before last night’s deadline as he looks forward to kick-starting his career in the Portuguese top flight.
Johnston has dropped down the Celtic pecking order in the last couple of seasons due to injury and lack of consistency while Ange Postecoglou has brought in the likes of Jota, Liel Abada, Daizen Maeda and Sead Haksabanovic who can all operate on the flanks.
HAMPDEN HERO…Mikey Johnston, watched by David Turnbull, triumphantly holds aloft the newly-won League Cup at Hampden in December.
The Greek-Australian gaffer encouraged the former Scotland Under-21 international to get game time elsewhere and the player, who was introduced to the top team during the reign of Brendan Rodgers, has accepted the challenge.
However, Johnston admitted he had sought some advice from Jota, the flamboyant forward who signed a permanent deal at the champions at the cost of £6.5million from Benfica after his impressive loan season.
The 23-year-old raider said: “It was an easy choice as soon as I learned of the club’s interest.
“It’s a big club, and so is the League. When I heard about the interest, I was very excited.
“I think it’s a league that fits me well. It’s a more technical football on which I base my style of play and I look forward to getting started. I promise to always give everything and work hard to contribute to the team’s triumphs and score goals.”
BY THE RIGHT…Mikey Johnston fires in a shot in the 3-0 league win over Dundee United at Tannadice last season.
Johnston, speaking to the club website, added: “I’m a creative player, I like to dribble, I like to make things happen and score goals.
“In the locker room, I’ll be a good influence, talk to everyone, I like to get along with everyone, I like to laugh, so I can’t wait to meet everyone.
“I know it’s a great club, often going to Europe. I spoke to friends who are here; they say it’s a great club; I spoke to Jota from Celtic, who also spoke very well of the club.”
One of Johnston’s final appearances for the Hoops was in last season’s 2-1 Premier Sports League Cup triumph over Hibs in December when he took the place of the injured Jota.
The academy product also agreed a 12-month extension on his Celtic contract which will keep him at the club until at least 2025.
Coincidentally, Johnston is the second Hoops star to go on loan to a Portuguese club with Ivorian midfielder Ismaila Soro signing a deal with FC Acoura last month.