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2022 World Cup Under the Radar Players: Wales

He’s Gareth Bale’s Wingman

Young Talent

On June 5, Wales put an end to a 64-year drought. The Dragons defeated Ukraine to qualify for the World cup soccer 2022 in Qatar, their first since the 1958 edition in Sweden, in which they finished fifth. This time, they’ll face England, the USA, and Iran in Group B.

Not easy, but they trust Gareth Bale to guide them, at least, to the Round of 16. However, considering all three opponents are well aware of that, the Los Angeles FC player won’t have much space to do his thing. This is where the under the radar player comes in, who despite only being 21 years old is already a certified scorer.

2022 World Cup Under the Radar Players: Wales
Brennan Johnson | JOHN THYS / AFP

The big question is: Will Wales make it out of Group B? Well if Brennan Johnson is in the zone, they might.

Club Career

Johnson joined Nottingham Forest Youth Academy at 8 years old. Ten years later, he made his professional debut. At the time, the Tricky Trees were in the Championship, second-highest division in the English football league system. In his first season, he only appeared in eight games and didn’t score a single goal.

The following season, he played for Lincoln City, a team from the League One (England’s third division), on a loan. Compared to the previous campaign, he had a great year, scoring 13 goals in 49 games.

That was more than enough for Nottingham Forest to call him back for the 2021-22 season, in which they would end up rewriting history. They finished second overall, winning the right to compete in the playoffs for a spot in the Premier League. In the Semifinals, they defeated Sheffield United. Johnson scored in both legs. Later, they defeated Huddersfield Town in the Grand Finale, finally returning to the EPL after a 23-year absence.

Johnson was crucial for Tricky Trees to achieve such a feat. He finished as the team’s top scorer with 18 goals. As if that wasn’t enough, he was named the Championship Young Player of the Season.

With the Dragons

The young striker had three options: England, Jamaica, or Wales. He began to play for the Three Lions but decided to switch to the Dragons in 2018. He realized that one way or another, he would have more opportunities.

He was called up to the senior squad for the first time in September 2020. He made his debut almost two months later, in a 0-0 draw against the USA. His first goal was very special as it served to draw 1-1 to Belgium in the latest edition of the UEFA Nations League. Three days later, he scored again against the Netherlands.

Overall, he has played in 13 games for the Dragons, including the 2022 WC play-off against Ukraine.

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Wales in the 2022 World Cup

As mentioned before, the Dragons will face England, the USA, and Iran in the 2022 world cup. As expected, the Three Lions are the soccer betting favorites to win Group B at -300. USA (+550) and Wales (+600) are expected to fight for second place.

Keep an eye on Brennan regarding the Golden Boy Award, which is granted to the best young player in the tournament. Winning such a prestigious award, like Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Thomas Muller and Landon Donovan did, to name a few, could change his career for the better.

Don’t forget to stay tuned to BetUS Sportsbook & Casino and take a look at the World cup odds!

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