By Paul Jones
Brennan Johnson can fill the Harry Kane-sized hole at Tottenham, according to Wales manager Rob Page.
But the Nottingham Forest striker would do it his own way, insists the national team boss, if a £50m deal can be agreed between the clubs.
Page was at Old Trafford last Saturday to watch what could prove to be Johnson’s final game for Forest if Spurs match the asking price before Friday night’s transfer deadline.
Page already seems to think the move will happen and predicted that Johnson can cope with the enormous burden replacing Kane will bring.
Wales manager Rob Page believes Brennan Johnson could cope with the pressure of a move to Tottenham ⚽
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) August 30, 2023
Johnson, 22, has scored 29 goals for Forest which is dwarfed by Kane’s 280 for Spurs, but Page said: “You can’t go into a club expecting to fill somebody’s else’s boots.
“He’s a very different player to Harry. If he goes there, he goes on his own ability, because he is Brennan Johnson and what he can offer to the team.
“I watched him at Old Trafford on Saturday and I thought he was a constant threat against a top team.
“I’ve said it before – he’s one of the best counter-attacking forwards in the Premier League.
“For me, I wouldn’t even talk about the Harry Kane situation and going in to fill that.
“I think he’s just got to go. He’s his own person and player.
“He’s a different type of player to Harry, so whatever club he goes to he’s going to add a lot of strengths.”
🗣️ #THFC – as revealed days ago – already made contact with #NottinghamForest to understand the conditions of the deal and now the talks will continue: evolving situation. #NFFC https://t.co/50pQYc2bjC pic.twitter.com/P2d2GAgMcS
— Rudy Galetti (@RudyGaletti) August 30, 2023
If Johnson moves to Spurs, comparisons will be drawn with another young Welsh star, Dan James, who left Swansea City for Manchester United four years ago.
The learning curve proved steep for James, who was sold to Leeds United for £18m two years later.
“Dan James had one great season in the Championship before he went to Manchester United, but Brennan has had more than one great season in the Championship,” added Page.
“He has scored in the Premier League and his record is there to be seen.”
Page has included Johnson in his squad for Wales’ upcoming matches against South Korea and Latvia next week.
He has also given a recall to Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer for what would be his first international match since heart surgery in May.
Lockyer collapsed at Wembley during last season’s Championship play-off final against Coventry City and then watched the Hatters celebrate their promotion for a hospital bed.
Tottenham Hotspur are getting closer to agreeing a £50 million deal for Brennan Johnson with the Nottingham Forest forward preferring a move to Ange Postecoglou’s side over Brentfordhttps://t.co/Z2Utm8aCEF
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) August 28, 2023
After making a full recovery, Lockyer has since played two Premier League matches and Page added: “It’s an incredible story.
“We all watched the events unfold in the play-off final and we were all concerned.
“It was a bit worrying, but now everything is back to normal for him and the good thing for us is we have a centre back who’s playing in the Premier League, week-in, week-out.”
“It is always going to be a challenge when you get promoted to the Premier League, Luton have done really well to be where they are at with the resources they have available to them.”
Leeds winger Daniel James is sidelined by an adductor injury while Joe Morrell and Kieffer Moore – who are available for the Cardiff friendly with South Korea – are suspended for the trip to Riga after receiving respective red cards against Armenia and Turkey in June.
Rob Page naming four goalkeepers in his Wales squad to play South Korea and Latvia… pic.twitter.com/zZsng6zevu
— Jordan (@JordanWebber96) August 30, 2023
Josh Sheehan and Wes Burns earn recalls as Ollie Cooper and Luke Harris drop out of the squad.
Fulham midfielder Harris, 18, has been in and around the squad for the past 12 months but has yet to be capped.
“It’s ironic, isn’t it?,” said Page. “Luke’s not been involved for Fulham and the day I announce the squad the night before he’s on the bench and comes on.
“The plan might be that Luke still goes out on loan to play games at a lower level.
“We see potential in him, but it hasn’t quite gone how I anticipated if I’m being honest.
“But like with Rubin (Colwill) and JJ (Jordan James) we’ve wanted to see them play more games.
Tom Lockyer has been selected for international duty with Wales next month. 🏴
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) August 30, 2023