Forest may sell Johnson as Taiwo Awoniyi more important for staying up

Forest may sell Johnson as Taiwo Awoniyi more important for staying up
Credit: Icon Sport

Nottingham Forest are currently facing a battle to retain the services of Brennan Johnson, who often played as a strike partner to Taiwo Awoniyi last season.

There are a host of Premier League clubs circling around Johnson, but Chelsea and Brentford are the clubs that have shown the most interest, with the latter having already had two bids rejected.

It is no surprise that Forest are likely to lose Johnson more than Taiwo Awoniyi, who led the club in goals last time out courtesy of his 10 strikes.

Taiwo Awoniyi came alive in the final four matches of the campaign, where he netted six goals to help Nottingham Forest beat the drop on their return to the top flight.

Taiwo Awoniyi has become vital for Forest

Taiwo Awoniyi with his Nottingham Forest teammates
Credit: Icon Sport

Taiwo Awoniyi moved to Forest with a lot of expectations on his shoulders, and understandably so given that he had just racked up a personal-best 20 goals in 43 matches for Union Berlin.

This convinced Forest to splash €20 million on the 26-year-old as the newly promoted team needed to acquire more firepower.

However, Awoniyi endured a rough start to life at the City Ground, managing just one goal from his opening seven outings.

Consequently, he soon found himself on the bench, playing second fiddle to compatriot Emmanuel Dennis.

Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis at Forest
Credit: Icon Sport

Awoniyi’s misery went from bad to worse as he picked up an injury that saw him sidelined for nearly three months between January and April.

On his return to action, Awoniyi’s struggle in front of goal continued as the Nigerian international went on a seven-game goal drought.

He would finally end that barren run with a double against Southampton, and that proved to be a turning point for the striker.

Awoniyi followed up his Southampton brace with another double against Chelsea before scoring against Arsenal and Crystal Palace in the final two matches.

Taiwo Awoniyi looks set to enjoy a more impressive campaign

Having put a rough start to life at Nottingham Forest behind him, Awoniyi is backing himself to enjoy a better season this time around and insists he will continue to give his best even in difficult moments.

“For me, as a player, the best you can do for yourself is to keep putting in every effort because the effort will not be in vain,” he told the media.

“And in the end, if it doesn’t go your way, you can say, ‘Yes, I did my best', which is what I have always kept in my heart.”

Awoniyi’s importance to his current employers has risen significantly over the last couple of months, and he is now considered untouchable.

The Nigerian has picked up where he left off last time out by grabbing a consolation goal in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, and in doing so, Awoniyi became the first Forest player to score in five straight league matches since 1995.

Awoniyi will be looking to extend his scoring streak later today when Forest play host to Sheffield United in round two of the new Premier League season.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Chandan is a passionate writer, editor, and marketer with a love for football. He has bylines in leading online publications and has worked with renowned sports brands like The Olympics, Fox Sports Asia, and the Indian Super League (ISL). As for the unimpressive part, he loves Chelsea.