Ex-Nottingham Forest stopper Mark Crossley has urged young starlet Brennan Johnson to reject any advances from Premier League clubs and to sign a new deal with the Reds.
The 20-year-old has made his breakthrough into the Forest first-team squad at the start of this season after an electrifying loan spell at League One outfit Lincoln City in the 2020-21 campaign.
Johnson scored 11 league goals for the Imps as they narrowly missed out on promotion and Chris Hughton was suitably impressed by the Wales international’s performances to a point where he was in the starting 11 for the opening match of the season against Coventry City.
After grabbing assist in the 2-1 loss, Johnson started the next two matches before taking a spot on the bench for the loss against Stoke – before a ball was even kicked this season though the youngster was the subject of transfer speculation from the league above.
Brentford have been the main suitors in for Johnson this summer, with the Bees having two bids rejected per The Athletic’s Transfer Tracker, with Forest valuing the starlet at around £10 million.
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Crossley, who played nearly 400 times in all competitions for Forest during his career, thinks that the Tricky Trees should keep Johnson at all costs as he could be a real difference maker this season.
“I’d like to see him put pen to paper, sign a new deal,” Crossley said, per Football Transfer Tavern.
“His career is more important moving forward rather than instantly going to a Premier League club where he probably wouldn’t play on a regular basis.
“I’d like to see him stay at Forest because I really like him, I think he’s an excellent talent and for Forest to do well they need to keep hold of the talent that they’ve actually got.”
Johnson is expected to play a really important role at the City Ground this season, but the club will be worried that they’ve failed to get any commitment from him yet.
He’s got less than a year remaining on his contract and Forest will know that in January if he still hasn’t put pen to paper then he can talk with clubs from abroad about a summer switch.
Johnson obviously lit up League One for Lincoln, however aside from an assist against Coventry he’s yet to do much in the Championship and has been a part of a side that has amassed four defeats in a row.
Of course the blame can’t be put on Johnson for that, but it may just be important for Forest fans not to expect too much from the young ace too soon – the good news is that per The Athletic it seems as though Johnson does want to stay, so it would be in everyone’s best interests if a deal is struck very soon.