Wales boss Robert Page has claimed Brennan Johnson could become a superstar.
The Nottingham Forest forward helped the nation qualify for their first World Cup since 1958 as the team won 1-0 against Ukraine on Sunday evening.
This makes it three major tournaments from the last four that Wales have qualified for.
An own goal from Andriy Yarmolenko separated the two sides to cap off a brilliant breakout season for the 20-year old.
It was only seven days prior that Johnson was part of the Reds’ team that earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time since their relegation in 1999.
The Welshman scored 16 goals and earned 10 assists in the Championship as Steve Cooper’s side finished 4th in the table.
The Wales boss praised his young players following the team’s historic win, with Johnson having come on in the 71st minute to replace Daniel James.
“We’re confident going into games now. We don’t hope to qualify for the World Cup or Euros now, we believe we can do it, so there’s been a massive change in the mentality as well,” said Page, via Wales Online.
“I had a difficult decision tonight. I’ve got people like Harry Wilson and Brennan Johnson, who is going to be a superstar, isn’t he? You’ve got people like him who didn’t start tonight. But we had our best XI on the pitch.
“It’s encouraging, it’s good, we’re going in the right direction. We need to continue to develop these young players that we have done for the last few years, and it’s only going to get better for us.”
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Johnson will be hoping to continue his great 2022 by helping Forest maintain their place in the top flight while earning a place in the Wales side for the World Cup.
The quadrennial tournament will take place in Qatar this November and December, interrupting the league campaign.
The youngster will need to be at his best in the Premier League to earn his place in Page’s starting lineup, but will also need to avoid any injuries between now and the competition starting in Doha.
It is a huge accomplishment to end Wales’ wait for a World Cup berth.
If Johnson can continue his rapid rise then it would come as no surprise to see him start his nation’s first group game at the tournament.
Now that Forest have earned promotion, the 20-year old will be able to show his talent at the top level in the Premier League.
It has been a remarkable 12 months for Johnson, but there is still a feeling that there is so much more yet to come from the forward in his career.