Wales manager changes Brennan Johnson injury stance with major Tottenham claim

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Wales manager Rob Page has insisted he won't take Tottenham striker Brennan Johnson on international duty if he's not fully fit in order to not jeopardise his health.

The 22-year-old, who signed for a £47.5m fee from Nottingham Forest over the summer, suffered a thigh injury in the North London Derby against Arsenal which has left him on the sidelines since. The issue has seen him miss the win over Liverpool last weekend, as well as the match against Luton on Saturday afternoon.

While manager Ange Postecoglou admitted he'd miss the trip to Kenilworth Road, he claimed he's likely to be fit following the international break which takes place over the next two weeks. That leaves the Wales boss Page with a big decision to make.

Johnson has already made 21 appearances for his senior national team over the past three years, and despite only finding the back of the net twice, he represents a new batch of youth coming through Welsh football that is vital to their future. Leaving a player like that out of your squad is difficult for an international manager, for whom results are key - especially with their EURO 2024 qualification group in the balance.

Despite that, Page believes that it wouldn't be fair to the player or his club to include him straight away without giving Tottenham the respect they deserve. It's something he's spoken about before when the star missed out against Croatia back in March, with Page claiming Forest should've made him 'stronger'.

However, it appears as though he's changed his tune following his move to Spurs, with the Wales boss claiming he'll not 'insist' he has to join them for the reverse fixture next week.

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"The communication between us and Tottenham has been first-class. It’s about having mutual respect," Page told the Daily Mail earlier this week. "Both managers want a talented player fit so it’s about working together.

"I’m not going to insist that he has to come away and we’re going to play him, jeopardise his safety and health. I wouldn’t do that. But they also understand the importance of our games."

When asked if he'd spoken to the club directly, he added: "We’ve had great conversations with them, but ultimately his injury will dictate whether he can meet up or not."

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