The 30-year-old was one of the best players to emerge from the West Ham Academy's golden era when he made his breakthrough under Glen Roeder in 2003 aged just 17.
West Ham were battling relegation from the Premier League but Johnson's rise to prominence was the highlight of a difficult season.
In fact his form was a major reason why the club were able to garner 42 points, enough to make a team safe in any season since the formation of the Premier League, except that one.
The Hammers went down and Johnson, already a firm fans' favourite despite having just 15 appearances under his belt, became the first signing of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea for £6 million. Most West Ham fans still regard losing Johnson as one of the biggest blows of that relegation.
But now, 13 years on and after spells with Portsmouth and current club Liverpool, Johnson could be set to return for the final season at the Boleyn after admitting he is likely to leave Anfield in the summer.
When asked about his future by Sky Sports this week, Johnson said: "I haven't got a contract. We'll have to wait and see (if that is going to change).
"I don't think so but we have to wait and see."
West Ham are in the market for a right back and face stiff competition for their current incumbent in that position, Carl Jenkinson, who is on loan from Arsenal.
Jenkinson has been one of the star's of West Ham's season and it is believed the club want him to sign permanently.
But Arsenal are reportedly holding out for as much as £10 million and with Johnson available on a free transfer, co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold may see it as better business.
Jenkinson is only 23 and has his best years ahead of him while Johnson, at 30, probably doesn't.
With 54 England caps, though, Johnson offers more experience, a commodity Sam Allardyce recently admitted his side has lacked at times this season as they have tumbled down the league from fourth to 11th since Christmas.
Big Sam told West Ham's official website this week that, should he remain as manager at Upton Park beyond May, he would be looking to add some much-needed experience to the side.
He said: "I think probably if I look back, as well as injuries, perhaps a little bit of inexperience across this time has shown why we have been in so many positions to win a game and ended up drawing it or losing from a draw."