Brennan Johnson looks set for Nottingham Forest stardom. As he fired home an equaliser against Derby County last time out, his finish will have given Chris Hughton plenty of food for thought.
The 20-year-old was always going to get a Forest chance this season. His form at Lincoln was brilliant and got Reds supporters extremely excited. The versatile forward scored 13 goals and claimed 14 assists, with the Imps reaching the League One play-off final.
So far this season, he has one goal and one assist. He has operated in a number of positions but another tweak could see Hughton hit the jackpot with regards to Johnson.
The Athletic claims that some people at the club feel the academy starlet can operate as a number nine. That makes perfect sense and he could arguably prove better than any new signing.
Johnson would clearly have to hone some of the skills. His movement, in particular, would need adjusting as a number nine but he’s more than capable of doing so.
He has proved in the league below, however, that he can score goals. As a young player, he has time to develop and using him as a striker could prove a masterstroke.
Future star: Positional tweak could make Forest star Johnson even better
The Reds have plenty of players who can operate in the three behind the striker. Joe Lolley, Philip Zinckernagel, Alex Migten, Joao Carvalho, Xande Silva and Djed Spence can all operate in those positions.
On the flip side, Forest have just Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor in their ranks as centre forward options. Both players are in their thirties and some youthful exuberance up there would be ideal.
Johnson would bring something a little bit different to the attack. He would perhaps give central defenders more to think about and bring some more energy to the attack.
Right now, both Grabban and Taylor are struggling for goals. Johnson showed at Derby last time out that he doesn’t need too many chances to find the net.
As a result, trying Johnson in attack looks like a no-brainer and Hughton could strike gold with a small adjustment to his attack.