Nottingham Forest’s academy has provided a whole host of talent over recent years. Some of the biggest examples include Patrick Bamford who was sold on to Chelsea for £1 million. Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow were both sold to Newcastle United in a combined deal worth £7 million.
A more recent example is Oliver Burke who was sold to Red Bull Leipzig for a whopping £13 million. Despite the fact that this is a lot of money in the Championship for a player of his age, it was still a controversial sale by owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi due to the potential he had, as he is believed by many to be the next Gareth Bale.
Despite the disappointment of all these sales, it is credit to the academy at Forest that these quality of players are being produced on a regular basis. It would be more pleasing to see them actually be able to contribute to the success of Forest instead of being moved on far too soon.
Premier League interest in latest talent
Forest manager Philippe Montanier has continued the suit of previous managers and continued to give academy players a chance in the first team. This has seen the rise to prominence of Joe Worrall and Matty Cash this season.
Both players have massively impressed during their limited number of appearances this season and shown full commitment to the team. It is clear to see that their loan spells at Dagenham and Redbridge last season have aided their development massively.
Joe Worrall has only recently been called upon but has made some very impressive performances, most notably in the 2-0 win away at Ipswich as he was a key figure in a defence which picked up their first clean sheet of the season. This has allowed him to retain his place and he is set to start again against Newcastle United on Friday night at the City Ground.
These performances have seen him recently be linked with Premier League teams Everton and Stoke. Everton are reportedly looking at Worrall to be Phil Jagielka’s successor but due to his relative lack of experience it may not be a wise move to leave Forest at this stage in his career.
Matty Cash has also been very impressive in a brief number of appearances for the Reds. His energy in midfield has been there for all to see aswell as his ability to pick out a killer pass. He showed his versatility last Friday night as he filled in at left-back and arguably did a better job in the short period of time he was on the pitch than Danny Fox did all game. He even managed to win the penalty which Henri Lansbury converted for his hat-trick.
The impact he has had on the team has also not gone unnoticed by Premier League teams. Chelsea are said to be the main team interested in Matty Cash and are willing to pay around £1.5 million for his services. However, Forest are said to have an asking price of around £5 million for the youngster. This asking price may rise even further if Cash continues to impress for the remainder of the season.
Ben Osborn setting an example
Many people forget that Ben Osborn is just 22 years of age due to the maturity of his performances and the feeling that he has been playing for Forest for years now. However, he is still a very young player with lots of room for improvement still.
Osborn has recently been putting in some superb performances for the Reds as he continues to be one of the first names on the team sheet. A man of the match performance away at Ipswich Town and another superb performance at Barnsley including a goal, has grabbed the attention of many teams in the top flight.
He has been a fans favourite right from the off as he grabbed a last minute winner away at arch rivals Derby County just a couple of years ago under club legend Stuart Pearce. However, his consistent, hard-working performances have often gone unnoticed by supporters until now.
Osborn is really setting an example to the likes of Worrall and Cash on what can be achieved if you stay at Forest and work hard. However, Premier League teams have spotted Osborn’s stunning form of late with both Swansea and Watford considering January moves for the midfielder.
Looking to sell?
The future of all these youngsters may rest in the ownership of the club. Fawaz Al-Hasawi is said to be on the verge of completing a sale for the club for around the region of £50 million.
However, if this does not go through for whatever reason, the future of these players may be uncertain with the January transfer window soon upon us.
Fawaz Al-Hasawi has insisted he is not looking to sell any players who are of help to the team. However, Forest fans have heard this many times before and are unwilling to believe anything the owner has to say anymore.
It would not be a surprise to see these players sold in January if Fawaz Al-Hasawi was to still be owner due to the fact he is looking to get the majority of his £100 million investment in Forest over the last couple of years back before he leaves the club.