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‘Could potentially play a key role’ – 24-year-old’s starting prospects at Nottingham Forest: The verdict

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Nottingham Forest winger Xande Silva won his first start for the East Midlands side last night against Huddersfield Town, after spending much of the season out of the matchday squad completely.

Making just his second appearance of the season for Forest against Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon, coming on and shining during his cameo at the Riverside and even coming close the scoring late on as he hit the post, he seemingly did enough to earn his starting spot with Ryan Yates and Fin Back both dropping out.

Manager Steve Cooper’s change of shape allowed the 24-year-old to line up in his natural wing position and seemingly benefitted from that, being singled out for praise once again by Forest fans on social media despite being able to clinch an equaliser for his side as they fell to a 1-0 home defeat against the Terriers.

Quiz: Did Nottingham Forest do these 22 things in 2021?

1 of 22

Won three straight games?

As per FWS earlier this month, the ex-West Ham man was wanted by Greek side Aris on a loan deal, but his situation at the City Ground has changed since then with Silva potentially beginning to establish himself as a first-team regular now.

This provokes a key question: should Cooper hand Silva more starts after last night’s encouraging display against Carlos Corberan’s men?

On this key talking point, we selected three of our writers and Football League World to deliver their verdict.

Ben Wignall

It’s a tough one because Cooper has a lot of options out wide.

Silva never got a chance at West Ham after they signed him in 2017 and it’s seemed as though for the most part this season Cooper wasn’t going to utilise him either.

The fact of the matter is there’s Philip Zinckernagel, Joe Lolley, Brennan Johnson, Alex Mighten and now Xande all vying for spots out wide and that’s a lot of competition.

Squad rotation is important though and at 24 years old, the Portuguese attacker has time on his side to make an impact at the City Ground.

If I was Cooper I’d be bringing him off the bench with a bit more regularity and if he continues to impress then he could be ready to be a regular starter in 2022/23.

Josh Cole

After witnessing Xande Silva’s display yesterday, Forest boss Steve Cooper surely has to give the winger some more chances to showcase his talent in the club’s upcoming league games.

Silva managed to provide four key passes for his team-mates in this particular fixture whilst he also completed six successful dribbles at the City Ground.

Having recorded a WhoScored match rating of 7.57 against Huddersfield, Silva will now be determined to push on under the guidance of Cooper.

By adding goals and assists to his game, the 24-year-old could potentially play a key role for Forest as they aim to clinch a play-off place in the Championship.

Toby Wilding

You do feel as though this may be worth considering for Cooper and Forest.

Prior to that outing against Huddersfield, Silva had never really been given the chance to show what he could do for Forest since his summer move to The City Ground.

As a result, it would have seemed harsh to write him off already, and given the promise he showed on Thursday night, you do get the feeling that he may yet have something to offer to the club.

That is something that Forest surely ought to be looking to exploit, or else this will have turned into a rather wasted piece of business for the club, which won’t help their budget, or their prospects if they continue to carry players in their squad they can’t, or won’t, use.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Could potentially play a key role’ – 24-year-old’s starting prospects at Nottingham Forest: The verdict

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