Chris Hughton insists that he is “really looking forward” to working with Brennan Johnson at Nottingham Forest next season, and stressed the importance of working with him first-hand rather than from afar.
Johnson – who made his professional debut under Sabri Lamouchi last season – was sent on loan to Lincoln in the summer, after making eight first-team appearances in all competitions last term.
The 19-year-old has since gone from strength-to-strength, playing an influential role in the Imps’ bid for a League One play-off finish.
Johnson has made 38 appearances for Michael Appleton’s side in all competitions, scoring eight goals and chipping in with an impressive number of assists as well.
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The young midfielder was also given a run-out by Rob Page for Wales in midweek, coming on for the final 30 minutes in a 1-0 friendly win over Mexico in Cardiff.
Speaking to FLW in today’s press conference, Hughton spoke of his excitement towards working with Johnson in pre-season, and stressed the importance to watch him in action first-hand.
He said: “That would be the most important thing. We’ve seen a lot of him at Lincoln, and the fact that he’s played almost every game is an indication of what they think of him.
“On a lot of occasions, you don’t really know a player until you have him at the training ground and you work with him, because there’s a difference.
“I’m delighted to see him playing and coming on for Wales, and that also shows what they think of him.
“The level he’s been playing at this season is different to what we experience week in, week out in the Championship.
“But I’m really looking forward to working with him, he’s a player that’s had a really good impact on a really good team at Lincoln.”
I’m sure many Forest fans will be desperate to see Johnson be a regular name on the team sheet for Forest next season.
They are a team who are short of quality in the final third, and Johnson, who has thrived in a wider role this season, can definitely help them to improve.
He’s only young, but the progression he continues to show is very impressive, and Forest have an exceptional talent on their hands there.