Mikey Johnston, the 21-year-old Celtic winger, has been making headlines after switching his international allegiance from Scotland to the Republic of Ireland. The player has finally committed to playing for the Boys in Green, after being eligible for both teams due to his Irish grandfather.
The decision was a tough one for Johnston, who has represented Scotland up to U-21 level. However, he revealed that after discussing it with his family and considering his options, he felt that playing for the Republic of Ireland was the best choice for him.
Johnston made a stunning start for Glasgow Celtic when he scored the opener in their 5-2 victory over Hibernian on Sunday, 27 September 2020. His goal and overall performance showed that he is a player of great talent with a bright future ahead of him.
Now, with his new allegiance clear, he also has his sights set on making his Republic of Ireland debut. However, this will not happen until he receives the necessary clearance from FIFA, as he has already played for Scotland at youth levels.
If he receives the green card from FIFA in time, he could be eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland in their upcoming UEFA Nations League games against Wales and Finland on 11 and 14 October respectively. Johnston’s international debut would certainly be a massive boost for the Irish side.
With only 21 years of age, Johnston has already made a great impression in Scottish football. He has been a vital part of the Celtic team that has won the Scottish Premiership title in the last two seasons. His performances have earned him a new four-year contract with the club, and the chance to take his career to the next level with his national team.
However, it would be fair to say that Johnston’s decision has raised some eyebrows in Scotland. Many pundits and fans have questioned his motivation for wanting to play for Ireland, particularly given that he had played for Scotland at youth levels.
Johnston has defended his decision by stating that he has always felt a connection to Ireland through his grandfather, who was born in the country. He has said that he is proud of his Irish heritage, and that playing for the Republic of Ireland would be an honour for him.
There is no doubt that Johnston has a lot of potential, and his international career could certainly benefit from playing under the leadership of Irish head coach Stephen Kenny. Kenny is a manager who has a reputation for developing young talent. He guided the Irish U-21s to the European Championships earlier this year, and he is now looking to build a new generation of players for the senior team.
With the Republic of Ireland currently in a rebuilding phase, a player of Johnston’s quality could prove to be an asset. He has the pace and the dribbling skills to make a real impact on the international stage. Furthermore, his versatility as a player could give Kenny more options to choose from.
It will be interesting to see how Johnston adapts to playing for the Republic of Ireland. He will need to adjust to a new style of football, playing with a different set of teammates, and adjusting to the pressures of playing on the international stage.
If he can make the transition smoothly, there is no reason why he cannot be a regular member of the Irish squad for years to come. Johnston is young, talented, and ambitious, and he clearly sees his future with Ireland. This could be a significant move for both the player and the national team.
In conclusion, Mikey Johnston’s decision to switch his international allegiance from Scotland to the Republic of Ireland has been a big talking point in Scottish football. However, the player himself has stated that he is proud of his Irish heritage and is excited to represent the country. With only 21 years of age, Johnston has a lot of potential, and playing for Ireland could take his career to the next level. Whether he can get FIFA clearance in time for the upcoming games remains to be seen, but if he does, it will be exciting to see how he fares in the green shirt.