This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Chris Hughton is considering utilising starlet Brennan Johnson as a striker this season after the club’s failure to land a new player in the transfer window, according to The Athletic.
The 20-year-old is being considered as an option as an out-and-out striker or even as a ‘false nine’, which would see the youngster as the central focal point of attacks with two wingers flanking him.
Johnson appeared for the Wales national team against Belarus at the weekend as a striker in what could have been seen as an audition for when he returns to Forest from international duty, having played as an attacking midfielder or a left-winger so far this season.
With a lack of striking options at the Tricky Trees, is Hughton right to be considering Johnson as a striker? We asked the FLW team for their thoughts…
I think it would be a good idea.
In my opinion, the number 10 role doesn’t really suit Johnson at Forest as he is easily marked out of the game and they don’t supply him enough with the ball.
When he moves out wide, it’s when he’s most dangerous, but I could see him being a really talented forward if he was allowed to play on the shoulder of the last man.
In Hughton’s current system, the lone striker isn’t able to run in beyond and it’s more about holding the ball up, so the system would have to change.
But people clearly see Johnson as someone who can play up there, having played there for Wales against Belarus on Saturday.
It really is baffling that they never signed a striker. They may have been rejected by the likes of M’Bala Nzola and Yuma Suzuki – but it was clear before last season ended that they needed a new forward to come in, above all else.
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Creativity was also needed with Philip Zinckernagel coming in on loan and Brennan Johnson returning from his loan spell at Lincoln City – but competition for Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor was vital.
Their failure to address this position is why we’re having this debate in the first place – and that should not be forgotten because that was poor.
37 goals in 46 league games last season wasn’t good enough – and the fans deserved to see a new forward come in after several toothless displays going forward last term.
That aside, there’s no harm in experimenting. He possesses a scary turn of pace that could scare centre-backs, although you lose that threat down the wing. He also scored 10 goals in 40 League One appearances last term, so he could be a decent option to have there.
Would he be as creative up top though? That’s the question Chris Hughton would have to answer if he plays him there.