STAGS SIGN CALLUM JOHNSON FROM ROSS COUNTY
Stags sign full-back
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 13 Jan 2023
Mansfield Town are delighted to announce the signing of full-back Callum Johnson from Ross County for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old has penned an 18-month contract with an option to extend at One Call Stadium.
The versatile defender - predominantly a right-back - can play anywhere across the back four and has also featured in the centre of midfield.
Callum began his career at Middlesbrough, where he progressed through their Academy, before joining Accrington, initially on loan, in the summer of 2017.
After making the move permanent in January 2018, he helped Stanley gain promotion from League Two later that season and made a total of 119 appearances for the club, mostly in League One.
In September 2020, the defender signed for Portsmouth, where he featured on 48 occasions before making a further 39 League One appearances for Fleetwood Town last season.
He has played 21 games in all competitions for Ross County this season.
Manager Nigel Clough said: “Callum’s another player we’ve been aware of for a good number of years.
“We’re very pleased to sign Callum. He’s been playing regularly for Ross County this season.
“He’s a wholehearted player. He’ll get up and down on the right hand side for us and defend as well. At 26-year-old, he’s possibly approaching the prime of his career.”
The transfer is subject to international clearance.
Clough told iFollow Stags, Fri 13 Jan 2023
"I think it's a little bit of homesickness ... it's a long way up to Ross County.
"We're very pleased we've been able to sign him (and Alfie Kilgour) and very pleased we've been able to do them in the middle of the window and not wait until the last week. Simon and David have been working very hard.
"The best parts of play and his career have been at right back. He can play at right back, right wing-back, right centre half, and he's another one that gives us that flexibility.
"We were bringing in Alfie Kilgour anyway, to add, because we knew we needed a defender. But with Oli (Hawkins) going, we've brought two defenders in (Kilgour and Callum Johnson)."
"We've got a lot of good experienced players. We have got enough experience within the squad, so the aim is that the players that we are bringing in now, probably one or two more in this window, will be a bit younger."
Clough told iFollow Stags, 14 Jan 2023
“Kellan Gordon puts good crosses in but we just wanted an improvement defensively and a better balance. I think Kel is more of a forward player and we needed better defensive qualities without sacrificing too much going forward - you saw today Callum can do both.”
Callum Johnson told iFollow Stags, Fri 13 Jan 2023
"I'm delighted to be here. It's happened very quick.
"I've met the gaffer, all the lads and all the staff and I'm buzzing.
"My agent spoke to me a couple of days ago. I nearly came here in the summer, I had a bit of interest.
"I drove down yesterday, a long drive, 8 hours.
"I've largely played the right full back of a four. I've also played right centre back of a three. And I've also played wing back last season at Fleetwood.
"My strongest is right back of a four. But I also back myself as right of a three to be comfortable there and wing back.
"I'm a defender first and foremost. But I like to get forward and put crosses in the box when it's on to do so.
"I pride myself off clean sheets and defending as a unit. There's nothing better than coming off the pitch with a 1-0 win and a clean sheet."
Callum Johnson told BBC Radio Nottingham, 14 Jan 2023
“There has been some interest for a while.
“I was a free agent in the summer. I had four or five offers from League One but I just decided to go to Scotland for a change.
“Ross County finished top six the year before and just missed out on Europe so I felt it was a good opportunity - the manager really wanted me.
“I have played about 20 games this season but it's just not worked out for me. I wanted to move back to England closer to home as I was six or seven hours away up there.
“Mansfield were the first club to show interest again as they have for a couple of seasons.
“I know the club and the manager's pedigree and I wanted to come here, win games and get promoted.”
Callum Johnson departs Ross County to join Mansfield Town
pressandjournal.co.uk, By Andy Skinner, January 13, 2023
Callum Johnson has left Ross County to join Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee.
Defender Johnson only joined the Staggies in the summer, on a two-year deal from Portsmouth.
The 26-year-old made 21 appearances for Malky Mackay’s side, 16 of which were starts, with fellow right back Connor Randall having only recently returned from injury.
Having started his career with Middlesbrough, Johnson also counts Accrington Stanley and Fleetwood Town among his former clubs in a career which has seen him play more than 200 games.
Johnson has now opted to return to English football, joining League Two side Mansfield on an 18-month contract.
Picked up from Portsmouth for free - bought by Mansfield six months later. The ex-Middlesbrough defender proving a point
Ross County have cashed in on a player they got for nothing from Pompey.
Portsmouth News, By Neil Allen, Wed 18 Jan 2023
Promotion-hunting Mansfield paid an undisclosed fee to recruit Callum Johnson from the Scottish Premiership on Friday.
And the 26-year-old marked his Stags debut with an assist and man-of-the-match display in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Crewe.
Johnson had been shown the door by the Blues last summer following the expiry of a two-year deal.
The right-back had fallen out of favour with Danny Cowley, spending the campaign on loan at League One rivals Fleetwood, making 39 appearances.
It was a decision which puzzled the Fratton faithful, who had voted him runner-up in The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season for 2020-21.
Kenny Jackett had recruited him from Accrington for around £100,000 in September 2020 and the former Middlesbrough youngster impressed in his maiden Fratton Park season.
Following Cowley’s appointment in March 2021, initially as interim head coach, Johnson started 11 of the final 12 matches that season.
However, following the arrival of Kieron Freeman and then Mahlon Romeo, his days at Fratton Park were numbered and a loan to Fleetwood followed.
As a free agent, Johnson joined Ross County in July, going on to make 24 appearances, establishing himself as a regular in their starting XI.
Then, six months later, he returned to England after Stags boss Nigel Clough swooped to strengthen their promotion ambition.
Johnson was handed an instant debut in Saturday’s visit of Crewe, providing the cross for George Maris’ opener.
However, they had to settle for a 1-1 draw after seeing out the final nine minutes with 10-men following the dismissal of goalscorer Maris.
Johnson totalled 48 appearances and one goal during his two seasons at Fratton Park, after previously spending three years with Accrington.
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Another good defensive signing this afternoon in Callum Johnson; 26 with a lot of experience already under his belt, mostly in League One.
Welcome to the One Call, Callum.
David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91
Active couple of days! All the best to Hawks with his move and great to have Alfie Kilgour and @callumjohnson96 with us! 17 days of the window left….#MTFC
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