BRENNAN JOHNSON has already proven he can compete with the best at Tottenham.
That is the view of Johnson’s Wales coach Robert Page, who welcomes the striker’s early signing since his £47.5million move from Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old impressed in Monday’s chaotic 4-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea before being sacrificed by Ange Postecoglou for Eric Dier in the 34th minute after Cristian Romero received a red card.
Johnson is expected to play a bigger role for leaders Tottenham at Wolves on Saturday with Richarlison out with a pelvic injury and James Maddison struggling with an ankle injury.
But Page believes the signs are positive for Johnson, who set up Son Heung-min for a first-half goal against the Blues that was disallowed for offside.
Asked if the Wales star was now at the same level as Spurs captain Son, Page replied: “Absolutely. We all saw the potential.”
“When I worked with him in the 21s and younger age groups, I could tell that was where he was going.
“It took him a bit of time to get to that standard, he got insight into the whole thing.”
“What is important now is that he maintains this level by playing with these players and fulfilling the demands of the manager (Ange Postecoglou) there, and he will definitely do that.”
“He is now playing at a big club and is aiming to be in the top four, so the demands on him will be extreme.”
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“The squad of players he has around him now will be a little different to what he is used to, but even training with the players he is with will take him to a different level.”
“He looked good for half an hour against Chelsea. The goal he set up for Son was incredible. He finds a position that suits him.”
“When you go down to 10 it has an impact on the team and unfortunately it was Brennan who was substituted.”
“Selfishly speaking, I was quite happy.”
After Saturday’s trip to Molineux, Johnson will join Page in Wales’ crucial Euro 2024 qualifiers against Armenia and Turkey.
Two wins secure the Dragons a place in the final next summer in Germany.
Johnson missed the 2-1 win over Croatia last month with a hamstring injury and has made just five appearances for Spurs since the deadline move in September
But Page has no concerns about his fitness this season.
The former Sheffield United defender, 49, added: “When you move to a new club with different methods and different training, sometimes you run into problems because you are used to training in a certain way.”
“That’s all he had. I’m not worried at all.”
The versatile striker Johnson can play on both wings as well as in the middle as a number nine.
But what is his best position?
Page said: “I’m not going to pigeonhole him as a nine. Brennan is proving at club level that he can play a variety of positions. He can easily play one of the first three positions.”
“We have Kieffer (Moore) at nine, but Brennan can play that too. He did that for us in Latvia. I like him as a nine, just because of his pace.”
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“There’s not a defender out there that wants to play against him and DJ (Daniel James) because the pace scares defenders.”
“He shows it at Tottenham on the left and that suits us again the way we play now and it’s good to have that competition for places.”