For all the transfer rumours and chatter, we’re still yet to see any incomings at St Andrews this summer. It’s clear some areas need to be bolstered if Blues want to mount any sort of promotion challenge next season and one area that is looking a little scarce is upfront.
If you take inexperienced Nicolai Brock-Madsen out of the equation, Rowett currently has misfiring James Vaughan and Clayton Donaldson as his only first-team strikers. But one man that hasn’t been mentioned at all in the Blues ranks over the last couple of months is forgotten man Denny Johnstone.
Signed from Celtic back in 2014, Johnstone has been sparingly used at St Andrews, spending the majority of his time out on-loan, where he’s featured for Macclesfield Town, Cheltenham, Burton and most recently, Greenock Morton in Scotland.
And it’s North of the border where the 21-year-old has really found some form, helping Morton to a fifth-placed finish in the Scottish Championship last season. Amidst his 43 appearances, he also despatched a very tidy 17 goals for The Ton, prompting some Bluenoses to question whether the striker deserves a shot at St Andrews next season.
And I for one think he does. He had a pretty tough start to life at Stans where he struggled to break into the side but he proved his worth when he was firing in the goals for Morton last season. I managed to catch a couple of Morton games and I was particularly impressed by Johnstone in his sides’ 2-0 victory over Dumbarton back in February.
He led the line well and his ability to bring his team-mates into the game was particularly noticeable- something that may be an asset at St Andrews as Gary Rowett traditionally only plays with one striker. At 6ft 2″ he’s not a player who can get knocked off the ball with ease and his improvement from his early days at Celtic to now is particularly noticeable.
But Blues may have to make a decision quickly- Johnstone is reportedly a wanted man. After such a good season, reports suggest that Dundee United, Hibs and Kilmarnock are all keen on bringing the striker to their respective clubs.
So it’s time for Rowett to make the call- let Johnstone go, or give him a chance in the first team.
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Images: Greenock Telegraph, STV