Dale Taylor looks like a very precocious talent within the Nottingham Forest youth ranks and impressed in his first action for the Northern Ireland national team in the last international break.
Steve Cooper arrived at The City Ground with a great reputation for developing young players and Forest supporters will be excited about the 17-year-old.
The Welshman assured supporters that he is well-informed of what Taylor can offer when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “We are very aware of him and I have seen him play — and he will be with us at some stage. He will get that opportunity.
“He has to strive to be a high performer in the under-23 side – which is no mean feat at his age. And if he plays for the under-18 side, he has to try to stand out as one of the better players.
“We are really, really proud of him.”
The Reds have a lot of attacking players that command a higher position in the pecking order than Dale Taylor and therefore it will be difficult for him to break into the first team picture this season. The inspiration is there with the likes of Alex Mighten and Brennan Johnson leading the way in the first team and Taylor shows that the conveyor belt is there in terms of the club’s academy.
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Cooper has been very smart with his words and has been careful not to create a lot of ‘hype’ around Taylor’s future as such a young player. It will be interesting to see how the Reds choose to develop him with it likely that Taylor continues to be thrown into the spotlight on the international stage.
Northern Ireland often cap players early to ensure they commit to them in the future, so it could be a bit of a premature call-up, but to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Steven Davis and Jonny Evans at such a tender age is a huge positive.