David Brockett was at Rugby Park this week to watch Dundee United winger Justin Johnson in the Development League game against Kilmarnock.
A lively winger who can operate on either channel, the 19-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Tannadice side during the summer, having originally been brought in as an amateur player at the end of last season. The Dutch-born forward, who is also eligible to represent Ghana, has now established himself in United’s Development squad.
Originally a product of Sparta Rotterdam and Manchester United’s youth academies, the 5’ 7” playmaker continued his development with FC United of Manchester prior to heading north.
Johnson’s close control and dribbling accuracy is a key element that United can use to their advantage. Such is his agility, Johnson has the ability to feign inside even the more experienced defenders. This, coupled with sheer speed, gives him the freedom to take on defenders and create openings even in the tightest of spaces.
With Dundee United struggling in the Ladbrokes Premiership, Johnson may be the one to turn to in order to inject some flair to the side. With step-overs and drag-backs aplenty, he appears a creative player who stands out from the rest.
Fleet-footed and difficult to mark, it is no surprise he drew the most fouls in the game. Driving at both Kilmarnock full-backs, Johnson was brought down inside the box and comfortably converted his spot-kick, opening his account for the season.
Capable of setting up and scoring goals, Johnson appears to have all the necessary attributes of a modern-day winger. Most comfortable on either flank of a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, his unpredictability will be used to exploit many defences. With good awareness, Johnson linked up well with overlapping full-back Euan Spark, thus creating more opportunities for the attacking midfielders.
With Dundee United and Jackie McNamara’s history of entrusting young players, there is every chance Johnson will become a first-team regular at Tannadice this season.
Strengths - Dribbling, agility, technique, flair, pace,