Michael Johnson’s successful comeback has led boss Mark Hughes to proclaim him one of the best young talents in the country.
And it is not just in the Carrington boot room where England under 21 international Johnson, who spent the best part of two years battling injury, has made a huge impact since his return.
Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor singled out the 21-year-old Urmston-raised star as one of the most impressive and eye-catching performers on the Carrington training ground.
It was though the manager who led the chorus of praise.
“It is difficult for young players when they are out for a sustained period. His injury was a real frustration for everybody,” he noted.
“Michael is now pain free, back out on the training field and has that base of fitness that he needs to perform at the top level again.
“He is one of those players who invariably appear as though he has all the time in the world, which is just because of the ability he has to make space for himself. The timing and appreciation of his passing is excellent as well.
He is one of the outstanding young players in the country in my opinion
...Mark Hughes on Michael Johnson
That is a view endorsed by former Arsenal hitman Adebayor.
“Michael has really impressed me,” praised Manu. “I didn’t really know him before I joined the club but I love the style of his play.
“He is a very calm player on the pitch. Even in difficult moments he does what he thinks is right and he has a style that other players like and admire.”
Johnson himself is not getting carried away and just maintaining his high work rate in a bid to become a regular fixture and build on his goal against Scunthorpe.
“I hope people don’t expect too much too soon. I have a year of not playing and I am just glad to get out on a pitch,” he declared.
“There have been loads of changes while I have been out. Watching things evolve has been inspiring. I want to be part of a team that is competing for the title and with that comes the challenge of just winning a place in the side.”