This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Who needs the transfer market when you’ve already got players at your disposal knocking on the door?
Sabri Lamouchi has spoken in the past about how Lewis Grabban is an important player for the team and that they need to be careful with how they treat him going forward, saying that he needed to be put ‘in the fridge’ between the Swansea City and Barnsley games last month.
So it’s clear to see that Lamouchi doesn’t have much faith in the rest of the centre-forwards at his disposal, or he’d be more inclined to give Grabban a break every now and then to keep him fresh for the rest of the season. That’s where Brennan Johnson comes in.
He’s already made a bit of an impact on the club scene this season; earning his first start for the club in the victory over Derby in the Carabao Cup, and showed his credentials for the U23s with two goals early in the season.
Not only that, but he’s also made a mark on the international stage by scoring the winner for Wales’ U21 side as they beat Belgium during the last international break.
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All of this culminated in him signing a new long-term deal at the City Ground a number of weeks ago.
With Johnson being called up to the latest Wales U21 squad to face Moldova on Friday night, this is possibly going to be his best opportunity to really stake his claim for more minutes in the Nottingham Forest first team.
If he can go out and put in a great performance, maybe even score a goal or two as he did against Belgium, then he can really give Lamouchi something to think about, possibly even making him the official rotation option for Grabban. In short, this is the perfect time to grab attention.
Whilst they are not the same player in terms of physical size, there’s nothing to stop Forest altering to a different style of play to accommodate him, particularly if it’s against weaker sides in the division where you know you’ll be on the front foot and can afford to rest some players.
Lamouchi is only too well aware of how long this season is and how he must manage his players accordingly.
Perhaps it’s the players that need to force the issue rather than the manager, and Johnson should be right at the front of that queue.