Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has tipped Leeds United to move for Nottingham Forest midfielder Brennan Johnson this summer.
Johnson enjoyed an outstanding season on loan in League One with Lincoln City last season, scoring 13 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions to help the Imps to the play-off final.
Now it seems as though Phillips believes that it may not be a surprise if Leeds do move for Johnson, and that the Elland Road club could then look to send the 20-year-old out on a temporary basis.
Speaking to Football Insider about that rumoured interest in Johnson from Marcelo Bielsa’s side, the ex-England international said: “He impressed me when he played in the playoff games against Sunderland. Especially in that first game. He looked very direct and got the goal so he’s not afraid to get forward.
“He travels well with the ball and he’s only young. From a Leeds point of view, can you sign him then loan him out? He’s definitely got a lot of talent. If he goes to Leeds he won’t be in the first team plans, I’m sure of it. Bielsa can get the best out of players like that, watch this space with that one.”
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As things stand, there are two years remaining on Johnson’s contract with Forest, securing his future at The City Ground until the end of the 2022/23.
I do think that this suggestion from Phillips would be sensible for Leeds.
Johnson is clearly a talented player, who could be a big asset for the Elland Road club in the future, so it would make sense to complete this signing before another club beat them to it.
However, the midfielder is as yet untested at Championship level, so it would be a big step up for him to be playing in the Premier League with Leeds next season.
That therefore, would mean that a loan move would make sense, since it would give Johnson the chance to develop and become better prepared to make the step up to the top-flight at some point in the future.