Brennan Johnson has enjoyed an excellent start to life as a Championship player at Nottingham Forest.
The flying winger impressed in a loan spell away from the City Ground under the tutelage of Michael Appleton at Lincoln City in 2020/21.
The 20-year-old scored 13 and assisted 14 in all competitions as the Imps made an unlikely run to the play-off final and flirted with automatic promotion for much of the campaign.
Steve Cooper has transformed Nottingham Forest’s results and performances since taking the reins in September and has the Reds daring to dream just four points off of the play-off places. Johnson has been a crucial part of the recovery and is one of the first names on the team sheet for his fellow Welshman.
Here, we discuss whether Forest should sell or keep the precocious winger this January as Leeds United circle around the player:
The main driving force to sell Johnson is his contract situation.
His deal is up at the City Ground at the end of next season therefore, if he does not sign a new longer term one, the 20-year-old’s transfer value will only decrease looking ahead to the summer and the 2022/23 campaign.
If Forest are not able to convince Johnson to commit his future to the club, then bringing in the maximum transfer fee they can to reinvest in the squad could be a wise move. It would help to back Steve Cooper in the transfer market in the long run, which feels like a necessity if he is put his own stamp on the team and push for promotion.
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The gap to the top six is just four points.
Should Forest be able to cut that further and be in and around the play-offs come the turn of the year then there is no way they should be selling Brennan Johnson. His speed in transition, intelligent movement and creativity will be crucial if the Reds are to kick on and make a serious push in the second half of the season.
But if their form drops off a lucrative sale should be considered.
It seems most likely that Johnson will remain at the club until the end of the season and then depart should the club not achieve promotion.
Time will tell, hopefully the club can convince the youngster to commit his future and Cooper can build the team around him in years to come.