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Despite increasing cries of “not for sale” from his club, Oxford United, midfielder Marvin Johnson remains of interest to both Leeds United and Hull City, but where should he go if he gets the chance?
No doubt Hull City have the great need for new players having lost several key personnel, though Leeds would be the obvious answer from the outside looking in.
Johnson began his career with Solihull Moors, before moving to Romulus and then to Kidderminster Harriers where he scored 17 goals in 108 appearances. This put him at the notice of Scottish Premiership side Motherwell who signed him in 2015. He went on to make 53 appearances and scored 6 goals with his continued improvement noted down south by Michael Appleton.
In August 2016, he signed for Appleton’s Oxford United in what is believed to be a club record deal, certainly a six-figure sum anyway. His improvement has not stopped, and despite a slow start at the Kassam Stadium, now being 26 and playing in England’s third tier, he is still being noticed.
His brilliant late goal against Luton Town which sent his side to Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy is one of the many things which have not gone unnoticed by the Yorkshire clubs. Johnson for his part has played down such links and says he intends to concentrate on Oxford, which is to his credit.
The truth is however, that Johnson is fully entitled to look up to the Championship and back his ability to fit in at that level. Rather traditionally, Johnson is a left-footed player who plays down the left and could provide some nice balance for either side. He wouldn’t look out of place at this level I shouldn’t think.
Marvin Johnson was involved in a goal, either scoring or creating, in around 40% of the games he played last season on average and even at the lower levels, that is an impressive stat. Leeds and Hull could do a lot worse than to follow-up their interest in Johnson who looks just the kind of late bloomer who, given time and games, could make strides all the way up towards the Premier League.
Hull, for whatever reason, are going backwards at present though and while this is very unfortunate for the fans, it’s something that needs to be fixed from the inside and so potential new players cannot be seen as saviours. With that in mind, Leeds United would be a much safer destination for an ambitious player.