Wales boss Rob Page has heaped praise on Nottingham Forest star Brennan Johnson during a post-match interview with Wales Online.
He’s also perhaps provided a suggestion that the Reds star will have to remain patient when it comes to starting for Wales.
The nation secured a place at the World Cup in Qatar last night. It will be the first time they’ve taken part in the tournament since 1958.
Johnson played the final 16 minutes against Ukraine and cracked the post as Wales won 1-0.
The 21-year-old was perhaps somewhat disappointed not to start the crucial fixture for his adopted country.
He netted 19 goals and registered 10 assists during 2021/22, helping Forest return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.
Page heaped praise on Johnson for his cameo but then suggested that the team that started last night was his best eleven.
He told Wales Online: “I had a difficult decision tonight. I’ve got people like Harry Wilson and Brennan Johnson, who is going to be a superstar, isn’t he? You’ve got people like him who didn’t start tonight. But we had our best XI on the pitch.”
Page praise for Forest man Johnson but other comment provides intrigue
It’s pretty clear that Johnson will become a sensational player during his career.
He’s enjoyed a remarkable first season in the Championship and next season he will get a Premier League chance.
Johnson will be sought-after in the coming weeks for certain but having secured a place in the top-flight, the Reds will fancy keeping him.
Interestingly, Page confessed that his strongest team started last night’s game.
Plenty will argue that Johnson looks a better bet than Dan James of Leeds who frankly endured a pretty ordinary season.
Johnson won’t want to go to the World Cup in Qatar merely to make up the numbers.
He will want to play and these comments from Page suggest he might have to get used to starring from the bench.
With Johnson now in the Premier League, he does have time to force his way into the team.
If he can showcase his quality in the top-flight, Page will have no choice but to hand him a starting berth at the winter tournament.