Exciting Nottingham Forest man Brennan Johnson has penned a loan deal with the Imps, adding to our attacking options.
It is obviously positive news in the wake of the injury apparently suffered by Callum Morton, which could rule him out for sometime. Johnson isn’t a striker as such, more of a ten, or a wide player. However, with Morton’s injury, any player with a capable forward momentum is going to be a huge addition to the squad.
The club’s official press release read:
“Lincoln City are delighted to announce the signing of Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest on a season long loan.
“Brennan who is a Welsh Under 19 and Under 21 international, has played all his club football to date with Forest after coming through the ranks from under 9 right through to the under 23’s before making his first team bow in August 2019 as a substitute in Forest’s opening game of the season against West Brom in the Championship.
“Following his first foray into the Championship, the exciting attacker who is best described as a ‘number 10’ went onto make seven more appearances for Forest, against Derby and Arsenal in the Carabao Cup, as well as taking to the pitch at Stamford Bridge in the Emirates FA Cup.
“Brennan ended his breakthrough season as a regular part of the Forest matchday squad and featured in two of their games in the ‘restarted’ Skybet Championship campaign where he made further appearances against Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town respectively.”
News of the potential transfer broke yesterday and it was revealed to me off the record that he was in the stands last night watching the game. There was even a suggestion we might announce the signing immediately after the game, echoing the arrival of Callum Connolly last season. Instead, it is a Friday lunchtime reveal and (one would imagine) a place in the squad for Sunday’s visit from Charlton.
We know MA has been looking for the right type of ten. In his recent series of interviews with me, he said of the role: “If we had a real natural ten, we could go back to 4-4-1-1, I do like the diamond, but we want a ten who can get forward and overlap the striker, rather than playing with his back to goal.”
It does appear that Johnson is the number ten Michael has been waiting for, and if he was the initial target then we might have been waiting to see if he integrated into the first-team picture at The City Ground. It is interesting how he fits into our current structure, especially with Scully’s strong outing as a nine last night and the comments about a possible change of setup. A switch to 4-4-1-1, for instance, would see Johnson replacing one of the three central midfielders of McGrandles, Jones or Bridcutt. Given that Tayo Edun won Man of the Match last night, that would make five players for three places.
It could be the case case that Johnson plays on the right or left, instead of Grant or Anderson. However, both have been regular starters early in the season and both put in good shifts last night. There is a competition for places, which is interesting in a squad that is also looking depleted through injuries and possibly being short of a number nine, even as cover.
One thing I will doubtless see over the next few hours is comments such as ‘likely to be recalled after six months’, but I think the fact Forest trust us with Johnson is sufficient not to hark back to the Tyler Walker situation. Remember, these loan players belong to their parent clubs. If you loaned your PS4 to a mate, knowing you had an Xbox One, and your Xbox broke, what would you do? (By you, I don’t mean Ben. We know he’d tweet about it, A LOT, until someone sent him something for free).