This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Rewind’ series, this content strand is where we rewind back to a particular moment at a club, assess the initial reaction from the fans, and then proceed to evaluate and reflect on whether fans were right to react in that way….
After making his Nottingham Forest debut under Sabri Lamouchi last season, the next step was for Brennan Johnson to head out on loan and get regular game time under his belt.
The midfielder made eight appearances across all competitions last term, and after catching the eye, the club decided that the next step in his development would mean a loan move away from the City Ground.
Lincoln City were the ones to land him on loan for the 2020/21 campaign – a club Forest know well, having let the Imps have Tyler Walker on loan in 2019/20.
Did these 15 former Nottingham Forest players leave for a higher or lower fee than they arrived for?
Walker scored 16 goals during his loan spell at Lincoln before being recalled in January, with Forest very much hoping that Johnson would make a similar impact at the LNER Stadium.
Naturally, fans were happy for Johnson. Lincoln were targeting a strong season under a progressive coach in Michael Appleton, and one of their former players had thrived there before.
He will get a bagful good deal for both sides 👍🏻
— Mattyboy24 (@mattyboy2404) September 25, 2020
You will do well there Brennan lad, it’s a lovely set up. It will give you much needed game time and experience. 👍
— @Giuseppe_Timone (Joe T) (@_mrjoey) September 25, 2020
Good luck Brennan. Hope it’s a great move, you come back wiser and stronger. 🔴⚪️💯
— Forest FanBase (@ForestFanBase) September 25, 2020
Best thing for him at this stage. Lincoln appear to be a sound club and seem to have a nice arrangement with NFFC where both parties and the player will benefit. 👍🏻
— Tricky Red (@Trickyred1) September 25, 2020
Great move hope he kicks on
— Danny Tring (@Dannytring) September 25, 2020
Since moving to Lincoln, Johnson has gone from strength to strength. The young midfielder has played an influential role in helping the Imps fight for promotion in League One.
Johnson has scored seven goals in 28 appearances across all competitions – five of those goals coming in 23 league outings.
The midfielder – who has played in a wider role under Michael Appleton – has chipped in with a number of assists, and has made a really positive impression in the final third.
Johnson gave Forest a decision to make in January, with plenty of fans urging the club to recall the midfielder given their lack of creativity and guile in their own midfield.
But it wasn’t to be second time unlucky for the Imps, who managed to keep hold of their loan star and switch their focus back to their promotion push.
Johnson is already admiring glances from elsewhere. Football League World exclusively reported last month that there is interest from the Premier League, the Championship as well as from abroad in the Wales international.
But right now, all he is focused on is improving and developing as a player, and helping Lincoln to promotion. Rightly so, too.