Nottingham Forest striker Lyle Taylor will be hoping that Tuesday night’s pre-season friendly win over Northampton Town is a sign of what’s to come next season.
The 31-year-old has spent the majority of pre-season away on international duty with Montserrat, but his first few minutes of pre-season in a Garibaldi shirt saw him get on the scoresheet against Northampton Town.
Introduced as a half-time substitute, Taylor showed desire to harry Northampton’s defence and force the goalkeeper into making a mistake, before latching onto Jordan Gabriel’s cross and sliding the ball into an empty net.
It was the simplest of goals against weak League Two opposition, but could it be the start of a reprieve for the striker?
It has been a frustrating spell for Taylor since he joined Forest on a free transfer from Charlton last summer. The striker had the world at his feet, alerting interest from the likes of Rangers and Galatasaray before opting for a move to Trentside.
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But five goals in 42 appearances and only 17 starts later, and Taylor’s future heading into the new season looks uncertain.
It has been previously reported that he isn’t a part of Chris Hughton’s plans going forward, with talk of a potential move to Stoke going quiet.
You look at Forest’s current attacking options, and the retirement of Glenn Murray leaves 33-year-old Lewis Grabban and 31-year-old Taylor fighting it out for the one spot up top. Nuno da Costa is also back at the club after spending last season out on loan, but it’s uncertain that he will force his way into Hughton’s plans.
Forest have been very quiet in the transfer window so far. They are yet to make an outfield signing, and their only addition to date is goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
The Reds are likely to bolster their attacking options before the trip to Coventry on the opening day of the season, but until then, they should keep Taylor at arm’s length.
On Tuesday, we saw a determined, hungry individual looking to make his mark, albeit against weak opposition. He did so after only four minutes on the pitch.
If he can adopt the same mentality in the next couple of friendlies and take it into next season, Forest fans may start to see the Taylor who we recognised before his move to the East Midlands.