Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill has claimed that Bristol City manager Leee Johnson has “played a massive part” in his journey to the Premier League and has praised his former coach.
The City captain left in January, signing for the Turf Moor outfit for a reported fee of around £9 million.
Brownhill’s exit was a huge blow for the Robins but hardly unexpected and not off-brand for a club that have got used to developing players and selling them to Premier League clubs in recent years.
Bobby Reid, Joe Bryan, and Adam Webster have all followed a similar path.
None of them have quite as much history with Johnson, however, who managed Brownhill at Barnsley in the 2015/16 season and then brought him to Ashton Gate in July 2016.
The central midfielder made 161 appearances for the Robins and became one of Johnson’s key lieutenants before sealing his Premier League move earlier this year.
Speaking to The Athletic, Brownhill credited the City boss for the huge impact he’d had on his career.
He said: “Johnson played a massive part in my journey. He didn’t have to spend the time that he did with me to help me get better. The amount of detail we went into in the couple of months he was there… that’s what I wanted, someone who wanted to help develop me.
“As soon as I got to Bristol City it was exactly the same — attention to detail to improve. His aim was to get me to the Premier League. He would take 30 minutes after training to go through clips or work on one-on-one sessions. He would also call me up after the game to ask my opinion on what went right and wrong.”
The 24-year-old featured just once for Burnley before the delay to the season began, coming off the bench in the 89th minute in a 3-0 win against Bournemouth.
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It’s great to see Brownhill acknowledging the huge impact that Johnson has had on his career.
The central midfielder was fantastic for the Robins in the first half of the season and thoroughly deserves his opportunity in the Premier League.
City made a good profit off the sale of the midfielder and the club, and Johnson, deserve their credit for his development.
You feel moves like Brownhill’s will make Ashton Gate a more attractive proposition for up-and-coming players in the future.