Nottingham Forest have produced their fair share of exciting players over the years who have gone on to achieve a great deal of success at the City Ground.
Before sealing a move to Aston Villa last year, Matty Cash featured regularly for the Reds in the Championship after rising through the ranks.
Transformed from a winger to a full-back during Sabri Lamouchi’s time in charge of the club, Cash was one of the club’s most consistent performers during the 2019/20 campaign as Forest narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs.
Since Cash’s departure, Forest have turned to several players for inspiration in an attempt to fill the void left by the Poland international.
After joining the club on a temporary basis from Fulham, Cyrus Christie established himself as a mainstay in the Reds’ starting eleven last season as he made 44 appearances in the Championship.
However, despite being linked with a permanent move to Forest in the summer transfer window, the defender did not complete a switch to the club.
Having failed to seal a deal for Christie, former Reds boss Chris Hughton opted to swoop for Djed Spence who joined the club on a season-long loan deal from Middlesbrough in September.
Although Forest’s woeful start to the season eventually culminated in Hughton’s departure, the 62-year-old’s decision to sign Spence has turned out to be somewhat of a masterstroke.
A stand-out performer for the Reds this season, Spence has provided two direct goal contributions in the Championship and is currently averaging a relatively impressive WhoScored match rating of 6.96 at this level.
As a result of Spence’s presence, fellow full-back Fin Back has struggled to make any inroads on the club’s starting eleven this season.
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Limited to just four appearances at senior level, the Forest prospect has recently been utilised at Under-23 level as he has featured on six occasions for the club’s youth side in the Premier League 2 Division 2.
Whilst Back did manage to show glimpses of his talent during the club’s clashes with Bradford City and Blackburn Rovers earlier this year, it could be argued that Forest manager Steve Cooper ought to consider loaning him out in January if he is able to keep Spence at the City Ground.
Spence is currently facing an uncertain future as Middlesbrough recently decided to replace Neil Warnock, who sanctioned his departure, with Chris Wilder.
Providing that Wilder opts against recalling Spence from his loan stint, Cooper should look into the possibility of sending Back to a team in a lower division who will be able to guarantee the 19-year-old game-time as he is unlikely to overtake his team-mate in the current pecking order at Forest.
By featuring on a regular basis for another side, Back could make considerable strides in terms of his development which will put him in good stead for when he eventually returns to the East Midlands.