EXCLUSIVE

Celtic forward Mikey Johnston looks “undroppable” from the starting XI after his bright start to the summer fixtures, according to Jackie McNamara.

The former Hoop, speaking in an exclusive interview with Football Insider, claims that the 20-year-old has hit the ground running on his return to action, with the Bhoys already having played one competitive fixture in the shape of a Champions League qualifier.

Johnston stole the limelight against FK Sarajevo with a ferocious long-range strike, a goal which levelled the scores, while he also set up Odsonne Edouard for their second in a 3-1 win.

Having seen the promising winger impress in Celtic’s warm-up games, McNamara admits Tuesday’s performance cements Johnston’s place in the starting XI and puts his rise up the pecking order down to a boost in confidence.

Asked by Football Insider if the youngster was undroppable after another bright performance, McNamara said: “Yeah he is (undroppable), he’s done well in pre-season. He’s obviously taken a lot of confidence being given the opportunity at the end of last season.

“He’ll be wanting to stake a claim in the starting XI. I think with young players it’s a lot to do with confidence. They get the opportunity and the fans like to see young players given a chance and they get behind him.

“When he broke in they gave him a couple of games, his first big game was at Ibrox when he played out of position. He’s played two games at Ibrox and not really produced but he’s knuckled down, come back and looking good.”

Johnston has a total of 28 appearances under his belt for the Hoops since breaking into the first team, 23 of which came last season.

He managed to score five goals in just 14 Premiership outings during the 2018/19 campaign, with just seven of those seeing him named among the starting XI.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED the Hoops are plotting a move to snap up a prolific forward from England.