Martin O’Neill has revealed that Brennan Johnson will join Nottingham Forest’s first-team in pre-season. The 17-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Everton, has been prolific in the u23s this season with 16 goals to his name. Johnson has also netted three in the u18 FA Youth Cup and clearly has a bright future under the right guidance.
O’Neill has watched the u23s on a regular basis this season and has rewarded many players with a recall to the first-team if they impressed for the reserves – Arvin Appiah, Leo Bonatini, Karim Ansarifard. The Forest manager also wants to lower the average age next season and has the likes of Joe Worrall (22), Ryan Yates (21), Matty Cash (21), Tyler Walker (22) and Joao Carvalho (22) to build the squad around.
Johnson, who can operate out wide and up front, is still only young but his form for the u23s could earn him some minutes in the senior squad next season. O’Neill told Nottinghamshire Live: “He’s been over training with us for a few days and has been doing exceptionally well.
“He’s a nice young man. He’s definitely a player with really decent talent. He would be coming with us pre-season anyway, with a little bit of luck. He definitely has talent and looks as if he’s got a decent future ahead of him.”
Forest could be losing Daryl Murphy this summer due to his advancing age while Bonatini will return to Wolverhampton Wanderers when the season comes to a close. That leaves O’Neill with Lewis Grabban, Karim Ansarifard and Hillal Soudani.
Walker is expected to be a part of the first-team after impressing on loan at Mansfield, but there might be an opening for Johnson if he can impress.