Brennan Johnson has been like a man possessed for Nottingham Forest this season. His 19 goals and 10 assists helped the Reds defy the odds to reach the Premier League from a position of desperation as recently as September.
Forest propped up the table when Steve Cooper arrived and the position looked perilous. The 2021/22 campaign was expected to be one where the Reds would rebuild and the promotion push that ensued wasn’t anticipated.
Johnson had other ideas. The talented academy graduate thrived under the coaching of Cooper and his 29 goal contributions have made the 21-year-old a wanted man across Europe.
Currently, he’s playing for Wales. He came on for16 minutes as Rob Page’s team secured their place at the World Cup on Sunday and last night he started against Holland.
Johnson is clearly proud to represent his country but this round of international games isn’t ideal for Forest going into the new campaign. Frankly, the Forest boy wonder needs to be on a beach somewhere.
Wales, like many other nations, still have two games to play. Their final game is next Tuesday when they take on Holland again in Amsterdam.
Johnson is likely to remain part of Page’s squad. The head coach has said that the player is a future superstar and he clearly values him highly.
That isn’t ideal for Forest though with the Premier League season due to start just over seven weeks after the full-time whistle blows on Wales’ last game.
Forest will likely be back in training in early July. That doesn’t give Johnson much time to rest following a season which must have left him exhausted.
Johnson the star Forest man and Cooper must wrap him in cotton wool
The youngster is an athlete. If Forest could afford to give him a full month of rest then it’s something they should definitely look to do.
Johnson will be integral once again next season. He is the team’s ultimate matchwinner and they have to ensure he’s fit and firing during 2022/23.
Including international fixtures, Johnson had played 60 times during 2021/22. Ask the Forest man and he will tell you he doesn’t need much rest, but as a youngster, the Reds must tread with caution.
Next season will see the intensity rise considerably and that could prove more taxing on his young physique.
Supporters will trust Cooper and his staff to manage Johnson correctly. Given the importance of the goal machine to the team, it could be his most important task this summer.