Nottingham Forest will compete for the chance to be promoted back into the Premier League for the first time in 23 years this weekend, and they have had quite a journey this season in the Championship.
There is no way that supporters could’ve imagined the club being in this position now with Steve Cooper in charge after an awful start to the season under Chris Hughton, who was sacked in September for losing six games out of seven, leaving Forest bottom of the table on a solitary point.
Cooper delivered one of the biggest U-turns that the Championship has ever seen with 22 wins, 10 draws and just six defeats in his 38 games at the helm; and if they are promoted to the top flight this weekend, it will be a dream come true for the club.
Although the Welsh manager has been phenomenal, there are certain players who have put in hard work and impressive performances over the season to get Forest over the line, with homegrown talent Brennan Johnson a standout in the squad.
The 21-year-oldhas become one of the Championship’s most exciting young talents this season, winning EFL Young Player of the Year recently, and it is no wonder when you consider his output.
The £2.5k-p/w livewire, who was dubbed “wonderful” by Wales manager Robert Page, has scored 16 goals and contributed 10 assists, created 15 big chances, made 1.3 key passes and taken 1.9 shots per game. This shows that he has been a real force in front of goal to lead Forest out of trouble and on the brink of potential promotion with his output.
These achievements have consequently attracted the attention of many Premier League clubs keen to secure his signature this summer, with Leicester City, Newcastle United and Everton all named as potential suitors.
Johnson is a product of Nottingham Forest’s academy, so they paid no transfer fee for the player. They could duly make a huge profit on the 21-year-old if they were to sell him this summer, with Transfermarkt listing his market value at £13.5m as of this month.
Even with that market value, the Championship club are reportedly attracting offers of £20m, but they will surely be hoping that they can keep hold of the young forward for next season if they secure Premier League promotion this weekend.
AND in other news: Cooper heading towards his first Forest disaster this summer, he’ll hate it