The 19-year-old full-back made his Premier League debut against Manchester City in February, but faces stiff competition for a place in the first team squad with Aaron Cresswell, Arthur Masuaku, Pablo Zabaleta, and Ryan Fredericks all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, when asked about the youngster, he said: “I think the boss really rates him but we have two players at RB and two at LB so realistically he isn’t likely to get many games”.
This is a real shame to hear, especially given how precocious Johnson appears to be. Football doesn’t always work logically though, and there’s no reason why, if he continues to impress in training and show his manager what he is capable of, the defender can’t leapfrog some of his more senior teammates in the pecking order. He may only have one Premier League appearance to his name, but he handled himself very well in that match, and three clearances, two offsides won, and a pass completion rate of 78.6% [Whoscored], especially against the champions, hints at a player who could have a big future with the Hammers. At 19, there is no real rush for Johnson, but give him another year on the periphery, and it could well be that a loan move becomes the best option for the youngster. Either way, it is surely only a matter of time before he makes his breakthrough.