There was some unexpected news about Ireland's squad for the upcoming games against Latvia and France later this month, with it being revealed that Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was in the frame to be included.
The Irish Independent reported that the former Scotland U21 winger had committed his international future to Ireland, and with a passport having already been sorted, he could come under consideration for the March window. While he has been tracked by the FAI for some time, the announcement still came out of the blue.
He is eligible for the country via his Derry-born grandparents. It will be interesting to see what the 23-year old can bring to the table.
Stephen Kenny has been keen to add to Ireland's depth on the wings, something Johnston should be able to provide. In saying that, he has struggled with injuries and a lack of form over the last couple of seasons, being sent out on loan to Portuguese side Vitória Guimarães for this campaign in an attempt to rediscover his form.
Stephen Kenny explains Mikey Johnston Ireland addition
At his best, Mikey Johnston would certainly offer something to Ireland. He is a technically good wide player, something the squad has lacked at times over the last number of years.
Speaking this afternoon, Kenny confirmed the international switch was in the offing and explained what he felt the player could offer in a green jersey.
We’re waiting for confirmation from UEFA that it’s to be complete. Mikey, obviously his family are from Derry and he’s played in four Scottish Cup finals before he’s 22 for Celtic.
He has characteristics that maybe we don’t have in the squad, a right-footed left-winger who can dribble and beat players, who is exciting and who has a good final pass.
He’s been injured for a year and subsequently has missed out, Celtic have signed a lot of players in that period so he’s gone on loan to Portugal which is a good league, so he’s getting good experience there.
We can't expect too much, too soon from him, it's going to be one over a period of time where he gets a full season under his belt, and over the next year or two I'm sure he'll really excel because he has lots of natural talent.
If clearance comes through in time, it seems likely that Johnston will be included in the squad later this month.
Having another option in forward areas is certainly no bad thing for Stephen Kenny.