Mikey Johnston's move to Ireland receives FIFA international clearance
Positive news ahead of this month's European Championship qualifiers.
Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has decided to switch international allegiances from Scotland to the Republic of Ireland. His switch has received FIFA international clearance today, which means he will be available for selection for the Republic of Ireland ahead of the March fixtures against Latvia and France.
Johnston, 23, has previously represented Scotland at the underage level, lining out for both their Under 19 and Under 21 set-ups.
However, the Glasgow-born wide forward has now chosen to represent the Boys in Green.
He qualifies through his grandparents who hail from Derry. Johnston made his Celtic debut back in 2017, going on to make 80 appearances and scoring on 11 occasions in all competitions, as the Glasgow side went on to claim five Scottish league titles in six seasons.
Although still contracted by Ange Postecoglou's side, the skilful winger made the decision to head out on loan at the start of this season, as he searched for more regular game time.
Currently playing in the top tier in Portugal for club side Vitória de Guimarães, Johnston has gone on to make 20 appearances in all competitions so far this season, scoring three goals in the process.
Playing in a league against top European opposition such as Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, the news of Johnston's pending switch will excite many Ireland fans as Stephen Kenny's side look to kickstart their European Championship qualifying campaign against a star-studded France side in Dublin later this month.
Travelling to Portugal last month, the Ireland manager reportedly was in the stands to view the winger's attributes in the flesh, and with the news of the impending FAI announcement confirming Johnston's capture, Kenny was clearly keen on what he saw.
Johnston, who has featured in both the Champions League and Europa League in the past, has been keen to switch allegiances for some time, but now in possession of an Irish passport, the winger is available to be called up for this month's squad.
Following the November friendlies against Norway and Malta, Kenny spoke for the need to improve in wide areas, saying that "We also need our wide players to be very advanced and have a cutting edge to break teams down", ahead of what will be "a special night" against the French.
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