Mackay-Steven was drafted in by Celtic boss Ronny Deila last winter, but didn’t have a real chance to show what he could do across all competitions for the Bhoys.
However, Johansen holds no doubt over how important the wide man is going to be over the coming months.
“Gary has been great since coming into the team. He is quick on the ball, he gives us pace up front and gives us width. He is great on a one v one and it is great to have players who can do something that little bit different,” he told the Glasgow Evening Times.
“If he keeps playing the way he has been playing then he will be a very important player for us this season.”
“Having players like Gary can give us that something extra up front but he is also very good at helping out defensively which is what we all have to be thinking of.”
He’s got to stay fit
Mackay-Steven’s versatility and discipline are two of the main reasons he will also feature under Deila, but he needs to work very hard on staying fit.
He will be relied upon to perform for the side when the matches are coming thick and fast over the next few months.
The defensive work that Johansen mentions is also very important in terms of the Champions League, because there will be more examples in that competition where the club has to absorb a great deal of pressure.
The key is momentum and building a good start to the season, which makes him a first choice player in Celtic’s midfield and attack.
Fortunately, he doesn’t have a great deal of squad competition in a wide position but Deila is a manager who will constantly challenge him, rather than letting him become slightly complacent.