Ange Postecoglou has talked up Brennan Johnson’s growing influence as Spurs chase a Champions League place and is impressed with how he has handled his first season in London.

Johnson joined Spurs on transfer deadline day in September for £47.5million (A$92m) from Nottingham Forest and initially struggled to make his mark, with only one goal during the first half of the campaign.

The Wales attacker has flourished since December though, scoring in comeback wins over Brentford and Brighton and also making key contributions off the bench against Crystal Palace and Luton in recent weeks.

Spurs are pushing hard for a top-four finish and a guaranteed place in the Champions League. They trail fourth-placed Aston Villa but have a game in hand.

Ahead of Tuesday’s trip to West Ham, Postecoglou said: “Brennan was super on the weekend.

“He’s still young, he’s developing. He’s moved to a big club where there’s big expectations when you have a big transfer fee, but for the most part I think he’s handled it really well.

“He started the two games before he came off the bench, he did really well against Villa. He wasn’t great against Fulham but most of the team wasn’t great against Fulham. (Against Luton) he came again off the bench and made an impact.

“He’s another one understanding more and more how we want to play and he’s adjusting to it. Like I said, for the most part he’s handled himself really well this year.

“It was always going to be a tough introduction for a young player, moving to a big club for a transfer fee, and it’s always harder for attacking players because they are usually measured on goals and assists but I think he’s contributing in more than just that.”

Welsh international Johnson, still only 22, could start against West Ham and may line up alongside German international Timo Werner, who played a part in both goals during the 2-1 win over Luton.

Spurs have the option to turn the six-month loan of the RB Leipzig attacker into a permanent deal, but Postecoglou was eager to focus on the development of the ex-Chelsea forward.

“In terms of his future, like most players all these decisions will be made at the appropriate time,” Postecoglou said.

“He’s been great for us. He was an important signing. I said at the time, people forget that when we signed him Sonny (Son Heung-min) wasn’t here, he was away at the Asian Cup, and then Richy (Richarlison) got injured so we would have had a massive hole in our line-up without Timo there.

“And it’s fair to say he’s made an impact in every game. He’d probably like a couple more goals but at the same time he’s an important part of our structure.

“I thought he was really good on the weekend. He has been in the last few games but I do think there’s more improvement in him as he understands our game more.”

Source: AAP