Nottm Forest: Harewood warns club will ‘struggle’ to keep star attacker

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Nottingham Forest will do well to hold onto Brennan Johnson even if they are promoted to the Premier League.

The Nottingham-born Wales international scored the second goal in Forest’s 2-1 first-leg win over Sheffield United in the Championship play-off semi-finals on Saturday, repeating what his father David did against the same opposition back in 2003 with an unerring finish.

It took the 20-year-old’s tally to 18 goals in what has been a breakout season for the youngster who has shown that he is capable of playing anywhere across the front three under manager Steve Cooper.

As it stands, he is heading into the final 12 months of his current deal at the City Ground, and Harewood, who spent seven years at Forest, fears the club may lose him.

Speaking on the Garibaldi Red podcast, he said: “They’ve played big teams, obviously, like Liverpool Arsenal, Leicester, and he didn’t look out of place. The Premier League teams looked out of place to me, to be fair. It looks like he will thrive off it, but at the same time, Forest will want to keep him, so they’re going to struggle in that sense. 

“I don’t wish it upon anyone. I would like to see him at Forest if they get to the Premier League, but at the same time, I like to see a player flourish, and he is one of them players that you would just love to see him in the Premier League doing his thing because he looks like he can do it.”

TIF Thoughts on Johnson’s future…

While the young forward prepares for his current club’s crunch second-leg clash with the Blades tonight, his future beyond this season may lie elsewhere.

Last month, The Daily Mail revealed that Leeds United had joined Brentford and Newcastle United as potential suitors for the frontman, who is said to be valued at £20m. The report also claimed that any potential move to Leeds would hinge on whether they stay in the top tier, which would suggest that Johnson is seeking Premier League football.

Cooper will know that there will be no shortage of clubs trying to prise his attacker away, but by ensuring a return to the big time, the east Midlanders would give themselves the best possible chance of hanging onto their top scorer – though that is easier said than done.

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