Alasdair Gold believes Dejan Kulusevski is the one who is now under the most threat of losing his place in Tottenham’s starting eleven following the arrival of Brennan Johnson.
While some eyebrows were raised at the fact that Spurs paid £47.5m to sign Johnson from Nottingham Forest on deadline day, the news coming out of the North London club is that they are over the moon with the deal.
In fact, The Telegraph claimed last week that the 22-year-old was Ange Postecoglou’s top attacking target and that Tottenham believe they have secured one of the best young talents across the Premier League.
With Spurs not signing an out-and-out centre-forward to replace Harry Kane this summer, some pundits such as Michael Dawson have opined that Johnson could be used in the number nine role by Postecolgou (Sky Sports News 12:14 pm, September 2, 2023).
Gold has now said that he initially expects the pacy winger to compete with Kulusevski for the right-wing birth.
Brennan Johnson will push for all three positions
When asked where he expects Johnson to play, the journalist said on a Q&A on Football.London: “The great thing about Brennan Johnson – a trait many of the Spurs attackers share – is that he can play anywhere across that front line.
“His pace is going to make him a threat in any of the three roles. I think he’s going to put a lot of pressure on everyone up there.
“He mostly plays on the right, which means Kulusevski is going to be pushed perhaps more than most, but Son’s ability to play anywhere means that if Richarlison continues to struggle then the South Korean or Johnson will get the central role.
“There are so many options now, with Manor Solomon impressing last weekend and Perisic and Gil also looking to compete. So I’d say right and centrally are the two main areas we’ll see Johnson but don’t discount the odd appearance on the left.”
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The issue with Kulusevski (and also with Son when he plays on the left) is that he is not as aggressive in taking on his man in one-on-one situations and exploiting the space in behind, even though he is naturally a very good dribbler. Johnson is much more direct than the Swede and would not be afraid to take on his man on the outside at every opportunity.
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