We don’t usually do gossip and hearsay at the Nottingham Sport. We leave that for other publications to concentrate on in vain attempt for clickbait to their own websites, but we do monitor the walls of Twitter and Facebook as frequently as we read our local and less local press nemeses’ to see what’s going off… And it’s been no secret that Nottingham Forest youngster Brennan Johnson has been attracting some huge attention of late.
Johnson has been brilliant this season since former Manager Chris Hughton, yes he, drafted the already Welsh International into his starting XI for the opening game at Coventry, following the previous to that top dog Sabri Lamouchi, you remember him too? shipping him out on loan to Lincoln City whom he did so well with during the last campaign.
After ten League One goals last, the 20-year-old has scored five Championship goals so far this season with a hand in many more, his forward running, trickery, speed to burn and quality in the final third just a handful of reasons why Premier League clubs like Everton, West Ham United and Newcastle United are looking at him with as much as £20m suggested.
Former Nottingham Forest forward ‘David’ Johnson is Brennan’s dad, and yesterday following speculation from fans that the Reds star asset could be on his way, father relayed on Twitter that son ‘is not for sale’.
Johnson quoting “He’s NOT FOR SALE (that will put a spanner in your debate)” to a Nottm Forest HQ Twitter poll which asked, ‘would fans be happy to cash in’.
But reality is, whether ‘Dad’ says Johnson is for sale or not, whether Nottingham Forest Football Club suggests that Johnson is for sale or not (he still has two years to run on his current contract), whether Brennan Johnson feels ready or not? Money talks, and £20m is an amount that has never been seen in one transaction at the City Ground… Difficult especially during current times to turn that sort of cash down.
No question that Johnson will play in the Premier League one day, he certainly has the quality, he has the pedigree, and with an influence like David Johnson in his life, he’ll be educated well enough to understand that ‘time is on his side’.
Facts are that Forest don’t need to sell, just yet, Johnson himself doesn’t need to move, just yet, by playing week in week out in the Championship his game will certainly evolve, if father doesn’t feel he’s ready, it will be a sticking point, sons do listen, sometimes even reluctantly, but there will be a time when Nottingham Forest want to cash in, there will be a time when Johnson feels ‘ready’ to step up. That could be sooner rather than later?
Avoiding the January sales rush and early offers of huge financial persuasion from those above, promotion may be the perfect recipe and there’s no reason this can’t be achieved before Johnson plays Premier League football, but with the ‘big boys’ vulturing and with some ‘most desperate’, as long as Johnson plays well for Forest, this ‘nice problem to have’ will not go away anytime soon.
One tip to those worried about losing their current fans favourite too soon though, shortly after his 23rd birthday last September, Matty Cash got his reward for knuckling down and becoming a brilliant right back after four years playing first team football at Forest, by moving to Aston Villa for a fee in the region of £15m and since proving to be a well worthy Premier League player. Johnson can still feature in future seasons for Forest if a) the club want him (more than the money) and b) Johnson is prepared to stay and continue his apprenticeship and respect that he has time on his side.
After all, Johnson will already know that Forest have a pedigree for churning out brilliant youngsters which they sell on for huge profit, Johnson himself is no doubt a brilliant youngster who they can sell for huge profit, whether the time is right for club and player is another question? Will it ever be? But one thing for sure is, as long as Johnson continues playing brilliant football, that time will eventually come, for Forest to cash in, and for player to prove that he is, like many Reds fans believe he can be, the real deal.
Two things are certain for me… Johnson will play Premier League football and Forest will get big money for the player developed through the famous Nigel Doughty Academy… The third question ‘when‘ is another debate completely.
*Article provided by Daniel Peacock (Editor).
*Main image @NFFC Brennan Johnson has been magnificent this season for Forest.