Riseth: Johansen will stay

Date published: Monday 4th May 2015 6:21

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Johansen’s impressive displays were recognised by his fellow professionals on Sunday evening as he picked up the PFA Scotland award in his first full season in Glasgow.

The Norway international has been linked with a summer switch to the Bundesliga, but, despite still having two years left to run on his current deal, Johansen has already urged the Parkhead club to start talks on a new contract.

And compatriot Riseth, who won a League Cup winner’s medal in 2000 during a two-year stint in Glasgow, believes the club should give the 24-year-old midfielder what he wants.

He said: “I think Stefan could play in a higher league. He could go to the Premier League or the Bundesliga. He’s good enough for that.

“But I think he will stay at Celtic because he is really happy. He loves the club and the fans.

“I know Scandinavian people find it easy to settle in Glasgow. I was there, so was Henrik Larsson, Johan Mjallby, Marc Rieper and Harald Brattbakk.

“We all enjoyed playing for Celtic. It was a lot like Norway. We know we had to work hard, but the people are really nice, so because of that I think Stefan will stay in Glasgow for many years.

“I think he will feel at home there, so it’s important Celtic keep him happy.”

Celtic were crowned Scottish Premiership champions for the fourth year in a row over the weekend while the League Cup was also secured earlier in the season.

And Riseth has not been surprised by the success his former Stromsgodset boss Ronny Deila has enjoyed in his debut Parkhead campaign.

However, he has warned Deila his team will struggle to make their mark in Europe unless he can persuade chief executive Peter Lawwell to hand him a transfer market war chest.

“I said from day one that Ronny is the right coach for the club because he wants to build up young players,” said the 52-cap former Norway international.

“The club does not have much money to spend to bring big names into the club so you need someone who works well with kids and that’s Ronny.

“The job Ronny has done so far has been really good. Even if Celtic had put another coach in charge, I don’t think he could have done a better job at this moment than Ronny.

“But I played in the Champions League many, many times and I know it’s not easy to compete at that level. When I was at Rosenborg, it was during a spell when the club reached the group stages 10 years in a row.

“If Celtic do not add to the squad this summer, then I think the goal for next year should be the league and the cup.

“If they qualify for the group, then that will be the highest they can go because it will be tough for them. To do well at that level, they have to bring in big names.

“It’s really, really tough in the Champions League. Yes you can win some games but going through the group is difficult.

“The club has to decide if it wants to spend money on big names, because if they do that and get into the group stages, the money will come back to them.

“If they don’t then they have to give Ronny and his young players two or three years to develop, when they will then be able to take the next step.”

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