Deila explains reason why highly-rated Celtic star Stefan Johansen is struggling

Ronny Deila claims Stefan Johansen is struggling with a back injury.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told The Scottish Sun that there is more to come from midfielder Stefan Johansen after a slow start to the season.

Johansen, 24, hit 13 goals for Celtic last term in an impressive campaign, sparking suggestions that the Norwegian international could end up playing in the Premier League, like his former Bhoys team-mates Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk.

With big expectations heading in to the season, it's fair to say that Johansen hasn't really lived up to the hype so far this term.

Four goals in 15 games may not look like a terrible record for a midfielder, but two of those came in Champions League qualifiers against minnows Stjarnan, with another in the League Cup against Raith Rovers.

Johansen has been in and out of the team under Deila this season, with his loss of form worrying some Bhoys fans who saw him impress so much last year.

Now though, following the 2-2 Europa League draw with Fenerbahce, Deila has told The Scottish Sun that the main reason for Johansen's below-par displays has been that he has been suffering with a back injury - and believes that better performances are around the corner.

"Stefan has struggled with his back for two months almost, so it has been a little bit up and down, and that has affected him," said Deila. "Yesterday he felt much better but he got a knock again. But I’m sure if you or I asked him he’d say there’s more to come to get back to his best level," he added.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch