The midfielder, a product of the Villans’ Academy, started his career as a schoolboy with Crystal Palace.
Johnson, born in Kingston, Jamaica, captained Villa to the Premier Academy Group B title and he received a flavour of the first team setup as an unused substitute in a 2-1 League Cup victory over Burnley in January 2011 during Gerard Houllier’s time in charge at Villa Park.
After signing his first professional contract, Johnson was an integral part of the Villa side that advanced to the quarter-finals of the NextGen Series, scoring twice against Fenerbache and once away in Rosenborg. He was also a vital cog in the reserve side’s title winning team and he made the bench six times at first team level.
Johnson’s first senior football came in the form of a one month youth loan at Yeovil Town, the Jamaican making his Football League debut against Shrewsbury Town in a 3-1 win.
In August 2014, Johnson joined Chesterfield on a three month loan playing 13 times for the Spirites, including being instrumental at Deepdale when the visitors came from three goals down to draw 3-3.
Another brief loan spell in League One with Oldham Athletic followed before Johnson’s permanent move to Deepdale where he signed a two-and-a-half year deal.
It’s an unlikely coincidence that after suffering defeat in his first Preston match, the Lilywhites lost only one of the next 22 Johnson featured in.
The 2015/16 season was another successful campaign for the midfielder, ending the season as North End’s top scorer.