Gift Orban and Brennan Johnson linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs are thought to be eyeing a number of options should Harry Kane leave the club this summer

Harry Kane has been linked heavily with a move away from Tottenham this summer, with German Champions Bayern Munich heavily rumoured to be the front-runner for his signature. There is, of course, a chance that the forward remains with the Lilywhites, but the club is rumoured to have targeted a number of players should their all-time leading goal scorer choose to depart.

Over the last few days, two names, in particular, have come up when the topic of how THFC can try and replace Kane has come up. Gent forward Gift Orban is one such player to have been linked following the 21-year-old’s stunning season in the Belgian Pro League in 2022/23. Brennan Johnson is the over player linked with a move to North London should Kane leave, with the Nottingham Forest forward enjoying a promising first season in the Premier League.

Let’s start with Gift Orban. His club, Gent, settled for a 5th place finish in the Belgian Pro League at the conclusion of the regular season (2022/23) before the league split. De Buffalos (The Buffalos) played six further games to finish top of the Conference League Play-Off group with 44 points – 8 ahead of runners-up Cercle Brugge. This saw Gent secure their spot in the Europa Conference League for the 2023/24 season.

Orban was one of Gent’s standout players last term. The forward made 22 appearances in all competitions, scoring an incredible 20 goals with two assists. Ten of these appearances came in Belgium’s top flight, where he scored nine goals.

These stats certainly catch the eye, and it was a hat-trick against Turkey’s Istanbul Basaksehir in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash in last season’s Europa Conference League. Gent was knocked out by eventual winners West Ham United in the Quarter Final after a 5 – 2 defeat on aggregate.

Go back a few years, and Gift was playing youth football in his native Nigeria for Bison and, in November 2021, scouts from Norwegian club Stabæk. After returning from a trial, Orban went on to sign for the club on loan with an option to buy in later May 2022. He quickly became a regular starter for the club following goals against Notodden and FK Gjøvik-Lyn.

After one of the club’s forwards was sold in July 2022, Gift Orban completed a permanent move to Stabæk in August of that year, with his contract expiring in 2026. He was the joint top goal scorer in the second division, tied with Bard Finne, with both forwards scoring 16 goals in total. Orban’s goals helped his team to a 2nd place finish with 58 points, meaning they earned automatic promotion to the Eliteserien (top flight).

The Nigerian forward joined Belgium’s Gent permanently on 31st January 2023, debuting in a 3-3 draw against Westerlo, where he scored two goals. He then went on to have a stunning season with 20 goals in all competitions.

Moving on to Brennan Johnson, Spurs have been linked with one of England’s most promising forwards. His debut season in the Premier League with Nottingham Forest saw him play in all 38 league games, contributing eight goals and three assists for the Reds. Only summer signing Taiwo Awoniyi scored more in the league for Forest last term (10).

The rumoured price that Nottingham Forest are said to be demanding is £50 million.

The early days of Brennan’s career saw him play for Dunkirk FC until he was signed by the Nottingham Forest Academy in 2009, aged 8. Across the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons, the forward played numerous games in the FA Youth Cup with the Under 18 team, scoring five goals in 4 matches over the two seasons.

Johnson’s senior debut for Forest came in the 2019/20 season, coming on as a substitute in the 88th minute in a 2-1 defeat against West Bromwich Albion on the season’s opening day. Overall, he made eight senior appearances that season.

Brennan joined League One’s Lincoln City on loan to continue his development for the 2020/21 season. The forward made 49 appearances in all competitions for the Imps, scoring 13 goals whilst getting 14 assists as well. In the league alone, Johnson got 11 goals and 13 assists – needless to say, his loan spell had been a resounding success.

Lincoln City did get into the promotion play-offs, but Johnson and his teammates failed to achieve promotion to the Championship after an agonising 2 – 1 defeat against Blackpool in the final at Wembley in May 2021.

Following his impressive performances in the third division, Johnson featured heavily in the Nottingham Forest First Team in the 2021/22 season, scoring his first professional goal for the club in a 1 -1 draw against rivals Derby County in the Championship.

Once Steve Cooper had been appointed as Head Coach, the club’s form significantly improved, with the club rising from the relegation zone to the play-offs, finishing in 4th place with 80 points at season’s end. After the victory against Sheffield United in the semi-final, the Reds went on to end their more than 20 year hiatus from the Premier League after a 1 – 0 win against Huddersfield Town in the Championship Promotion Play-Off Final at Wembley.

In the league, Brennan Johnson was in top form, scoring 16 goals and getting nine assists in 49 appearances (regular league season and playoffs combined).

As previously mentioned, the forward was second in Forest’s scoring charts with eight goals in a season, which saw the club avoid an immediate return to the Championship last season, finishing in 16th place with 38 points – 4 points above the bottom three.

Gift Orban would be a good signing with plenty of ability and room to get even better. Brennan Johnson is also a young player with plenty of potential and has shown his class in the Premier League and would be an excellent signing for Spurs.

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