It was inevitable that Brennan Johnson would be a name on Premier League clubs’ lips as soon as he stepped up and scored his third goal in a 3-0 home win over MK Dons last week.
Johnson, in fact, has been earning rave reviews ever since he made the move to Lincoln City in the summer, with his performances improving and improving with each passing week.
In what has been a tricky year for many, Johnson has thrived. The 19-year-old has played an influential role in the Imps’ bid for a League One play-off finish, scoring 12 goals in all competitions and chipping in with a number of assists.
In the same year, the young midfielder has also earned recognition on the international stage, making his debut for Wales under Ryan Giggs and gaining plenty of minutes for the national side.
For a Nottingham Forest side which have struggled for goals this season, to have Johnson raring and ready to go next season is a tantalising thought.
The Reds have struggled to find the net on a regular basis this season. Lyle Taylor is their leading goalscorer with five goals in all competitions, and ‘own goals’ is their joint-highest scorer in the Championship.
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Johnson’s guile and creativity from midfield will certainly be beneficial as Chris Hughton looks to add more firepower to his attacking line next season.
But straight away, Forest have a difficult task on their hands. Last summer, they faced Premier League interest from Aston Villa in another homegrown star, Matty Cash.
This was, of course, in different circumstances. Cash had just established himself as arguably the best right-back in the Championship, and Forest were in a precarious position having just failed to secure promotion via the play-offs. A £16million departure materialised soon after.
This time around, Forest aren’t exactly in the strongest of positions when you look at the league table, but there is certainly an appetite to enjoy a positive season under Chris Hughton in 2021/22.
Brentford and Burnley are lurking, as are other top-flight sides, as per The Athletic. Football League World also understand that there is interest from abroad, most notably from Belgium, in the midfielder.
But with a number of players set to be let go at the end of this season, and five loanees set to return to their parent clubs, there is likely to be another overhaul taking place at the City Ground this summer, and Johnson should be at the heart of their revival.