It never rains, but it pours. As Celtic fans are still processing just how poor their wide options were in the draw with Kilmarnock at the weekend, the man who was allowed to leave on loan in January as their sixth-choice winger or thereabouts suddenly morphs into prime Lionel Messi.

Well, not quite, despite what excitable West Bromwich Albion fans would have you believe. But Mikey Johnston’s goal for the Baggies against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday evening was something to behold.

He picked up the ball wide on the left, cut inside to leave a defender on his backside, skipped past another challenge as he advanced into the area and curled an unstoppable right-foot effort into the top corner.

It was his second goal in just three appearances for West Brom, who must be thinking they have won a watch. It was also an exhibition of the talent everyone at Celtic has always known Johnston possesses, but frustratingly, was seen all too fleetingly when he was wearing the green and white.

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At 24, it made perfect sense for Johnston personally to get away from Glasgow again in search of the consistent game time he so desperately needs if he is ever to fulfil his undoubted, if debatably overstated, potential.

And I can’t recall too many grumbles when Celtic sanctioned his loan move despite his semi-regular first team involvement in the first half of the season.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and no one is arguing that Johnston could have been the answer to all of Celtic’s woes in attacking areas based upon the evidence of his form this term and for many before it.

But much of that willingness to allow Johnston to leave from the fans would have been predicated on the notion that what the club were bringing in would be a step up in class and impact. And so far, to say the jury is still out on that would be hugely understating it.

It is quite incredible to think that as Celtic enter the business end of the season and are looking for a spark to reignite their title defence, the best wide options they have on their books might still be Johnston and James Forrest. In 2024.

Forrest didn’t get a look in at the weekend as a combination of Daizen Maeda, Luis Palma, Yang and Nick Kuhn failed to muster any sort of impression on proceedings between them. But it would not be a massive surprise to see Brendan Rodgers turning to the veteran as he looks for people he can count on in the must-win game against Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday.

The fact that is a possibility, and that some Celtic fans are now lamenting the decision to allow Johnston - one of the perennial Celtic Park whipping boys - to leave tells you everything about the players who have been brought in over the last two transfer windows.

Johnston may not ever have been the long-term answer at Celtic, the club where both he and the fans were so desperate for him to be a success.

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That it hasn’t happened can only be down to the pressure he felt playing for the club, and he may never have overcome that to show the sort of form he is now displaying at West Brom (and indeed, for the Republic of Ireland) freed from such constraints. Though, admittedly, over a very small sample size, and against defences in The Championship who have so far afforded him the sort of space in behind he is unlikely to ever get in Scotland.

Would he have offered more off the bench against Kilmarnock though than the likes of Yang and Kuhn? We’ll never know, but he couldn’t have done much worse.

The point is, we all know that Johnston has the type of goal he scored for West Brom the other night in his locker. When he is on it, he can do it. Can the same be said for the current wide men at Celtic? Johnston may not have been a sure thing off the bench, but he might have been a safer bet than those who remain based on the evidence so far.

None of that is to say that Johnston’s level should be one that Celtic settle for in their wingers. Jota is more the mark, if they have any ambition.

But it could be said that the fact the decision to allow him to leave is now even a point of conjecture shows just where this Celtic team are right now.