Nottingham Forest should allow Brennan Johnson to flourish in League One for the remainder of his loan spell
Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Brennan Johnson is a young man enjoying some fine form in Sky Bet League One, however, recalling him from his respective loan spell at Lincoln City wouldn't be beneficial for the 19-year-old, or parent club Nottingham Forest at this moment in time. 

Lincoln have had a fantastic relationship with Forest in recent years, with a cluster of players from Trentside making the switch on loan to the Lincolnshire based club, in order to gain further first-team experience at a lower level. 

The likes of Liam Bridcutt stepped through the doors at Sincil Bank as a Forest loanee, before returning and making the move permanent. Jorge Grant is another and the midfielder is now enjoying a tremendous campaign, after making a permanent switch in the summer of 2019. 

  • Let them blossom

Tyler Walker is a great example of how recalling a player too early can have a great effect on their future prospects at the club. 

After a catalogue of loan moves, Walker's final switch from Forest was to Lincoln - where he enjoyed a hugely successful short spell. 

The frontman joined in August 2019 and made 34 appearances, scoring 16 goals in that time - an impressive tally that ensured Forest recalled Walker in January 2020, to the dismay of Imps supporters. 

Despite his departure, he remained the clubs top-scorer last season, which is testament to his brilliant stint. 

After a scintillating run of form in League One, upon his return to the City Ground, the 24-year-old made just seven appearances in the second half of the season, scoring one goal across them games. 

Frustrated with the minutes and hoping for a more permanent slot in the starting eleven at Championship level, Walker switched life on Trentside for newly promoted Coventry City - ending his long 14-year tenure at the club, that spanned across his entire youth and professional career. 

This thesis opposes the question if Walker was left to blossom in League One for the remainder of the season, would he still be a Forest player today and have a part to play in their struggles for goals up front this season? 

  • Growth comes with time 

Johnson has remarkably netted four goals in his last two outings for Lincoln and although the prospect of his form seems tempting for Forest - player growth comes with game time and that's what the youngster will get all season for the Imps. 

Despite Forest's struggles in front of goal this season, the large squad of players would make it hard for Johnson to return and nail down a consistent first-team spot. 

It is clear for all to see that the Reds need a creative attacking midfield outlet, that can link the midfield and attack together, to help with their current imbalance since the departures of Portuguese pair Tiago Silva and Joao Carvalho. However, with that being said, that new outlet doesn't come in the form of Johnson. The youngster should be allowed to stay put for the remainder of the campaign and continue to grow as a player - in a physical and demanding league. 

  • Brimming with confidence 

Lincoln have been formidable during the 2020/21 campaign thus far and are at the summit of a highly competitive League One table. 

With the January transfer window on the horizon, some astute business from Lincoln and the continuation of this dazzling form could see the Imps through to a promotion to the second tier for the first time since 1961. 

Good performances and results bring confidence, which can only mean well for young Johnson who could be a key figure in the second half of the season amidst the Imps promotion fight. 

  • Patience is a virtue 

Over the years Gary Brazil has been able to unearth and nurture some magnificent young talents from the youth academy, that have gone on to play vital roles in the Forest first team or accumulate large fees to balance the book and pave the way for new talent at the City Ground. 

Oliver Burke, Matty Cash, Ben Osborn, Ben Brereton, Arvin Appiah and Jamaal Lascelles are amongst some of the names that grew at Forest's academy. 

Sales from just these six players alone amount to approximately £50 million, a staggering fee for a Championship outfit. 

Joe Worrall, Ryan Yates and most recently Alex Mighten are also academy graduates prevalent in the Forest first-team.

Past sales have been astronomical and very good from a business standpoint, however, Forest will be hopeful Johnson is the next man to step into the Garibaldi and bring success to the club moving forward. 

  • The verdict 

There's no denying that if Johnson was to return this January he would trump Walker and make seven or more appearances in the second half of the season, however, he's very much still learning, during his early steps in professional football. 

A swift return and rushed decision may well hamper his progress and would defeat the object of a loan spell into the third tier to grow his game - after making a quick judgement based off fantastic recent form. 

The versatile 19-year-old has notched five goals and accumulated two assists so far this season and should be left to flourish for Lincoln during the remainder of his yearly loan spell, before returning as a better and more capable player in the summer of 2021. 

 

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