Ben Brereton has today signed a new long-term deal at Nottingham Forest which has seen him commit his future at the club until 2021.
An impressive breakthrough season
There was much excitement behind the scenes about Brereton's future potential but it was not until last season that he broke into the first team and showed everyone what he is capable of. He scored his first goal in dramatic fashion as he scored a late winner against Aston Villa in February to claim Forest a vital three points.
He was able to follow this up by going on to make a total of 18 appearances in 2016/17, scoring three goals in the process, as he played a key role under both the management of Gary Brazil and then Mark Warburton. He certainly flourished under Warburton's style of play and is likely to be given even more opportunities to continue his development next season.
Remarkably, he was actually released by Stoke City in 2015 and Forest's academy gave him another shot. He went on to impress at both Under 18 and Under 23 level before finally being given his opportunity in the first team. He has now gone on not just to make Forest's first team but also represents England at Under 19 level.
A host of Premier League interest
There have been many Premier League teams who have been linked with the Championship Apprentice of The Year with clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur all being said to be interested.
Liverpool were said to be most interested and were willing to pay around £10 million for his services. However, it now looks like Jurgen Klopp will have to be patient if he is to sign the young prospect.
Of course, Brereton signing this new contract does not completely rule out a move to the top flight. However, it does make it more likely that Forest will at least get another year out of him before he makes a big move. It also ensures that when Brereton does decide it is the right time to move on, Forest will receive a fee which reflects his potential.
Brereton 'can't wait' to see what future holds
The 18-year-old was delighted to sign a new contract and is looking forward to continuing his development. He told Forest's official site: "I am delighted to have signed a new contract. It is a great club to be at and I can't wait to find out what the future holds."
He also explained how Warburton's style of play was a big factor in him putting pen to paper. He said: "Mark Warburton is a great manager and I like his style of play. He believes in me and kept on playing me at the end of last season; I just need to keep working hard, get some more games under my belt and try and score some more goals."