Corberán believes Johnston's Portuguese loan will help him flourish at West Brom

Corberán believes Johnston's Portuguese loan will help him flourish at West Brom

West Brom manager Carlos Corberán says Mikey Johnston's loan to Portuguese side Vitoria S.C. will help him settle quickly at Championship side West Brom because of his adaptability skills. Johnston, the Irish and Celtic winger, has agreed to spend the second half at Midlands club West Brom after making just 25 league appearances and scoring once for Celtic

The Ireland winger scored his first goal in the 2-0 win over Cardiff City, after just 30 seconds, and also found the back of the net again on Tuesday with a superb strike in the 3-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle.

Johnston, who has had to adapt to football in Scotland, Portugal, and England's second tier, seems to have found his feet already at the Hawthorns, and West Brom manager Corberán believes his experience with different styles of football will allow him to adapt quicker than expected.

"It's not the same for Mikey to play at Celtic and West Bromwich Albion," Corberán explained. "When you identify Celtic, when they are playing at home in a league game, they are very dominant and attack.

"When you put Celtic in a European competition, there's another scenario. What is important is that Johnston had a loan in Portugal previously. He was on a team that was different from Celtic, so it's new to him to be in a different environment from Celtic; it's not the first time he's had a different style. That allows us to trust more in his adaptation."

Irish fans, who would have watched Johnston before, know all about his technique and quick feet. The Ireland winger made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in a 3–2 win against Latvia and impressed fans with his drive and skill on the wing. Later that year, the West Brom loanee scored his first goal for Ireland, the opening goal in a 4-0 win against Gibraltar in a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier. He also scored in the reverse fixture last September.

West Brom got a strong glimpse of his talent in the 3-0 win over Plymouth. Johnston started a counter-attack, traded passes with Alex Mowatt, and made his way down the left. He left his marker for dead with a shimmy and placed the ball past ex-Celtic teammate Conor Hazard with a curling effort. Corberán praised the goal, calling it fantastic.

"There it is! He never had a lot of options, but he had a lot to do. People have said about his end product, but there’s a little bit of end product for you, top bins. Have some of that. Fantastic, fantastic goal; he makes it out of nothing and makes it himself; fantastic strike.”