Nottingham Forest Under 23s made it five games last night with a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United. Jimmy Gilligan’s team were made to settle for a share of the spoils; with the Blades denying Forest the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Professional Development League.
The Reds took the lead thanks to a goal from trialist Liam Sole. On the team-sheet, Forest kept his name unrevealed but Nottinghamshire Live journalist let the cat out of the bag on Twitter:
Sole scored a deflected effort at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium and it remains to be seen whether or not the ex-MK Dons performer can earn a contract.
The 19-year-old turned professional at Stadium MK in May 2018 but was released after just a year in the full-time game.
He failed to make a single appearance for the first time but did head out on loan to St Albans City for the second half of last season.
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After he netted his first goal for the National League South outfit he drew high praise from boss Ian Allinson. His former boss’ comments should offer Forest fans an insight into the type of player Sole is.
Allinson told The Herts Advertiser: “He’s a great talent and he’s got great energy. He’s very quick, unbelievable feet, but there are just a couple of areas that he perhaps needs to improve.
“He’s got in two or three times where he’s put their fella on his backside and just needs a little bit of calmness in terms of where he puts the ball.”
Forest have a proud history with young players emerging through the academy ranks and having an impact on the first-team.
Scoring in a league game last night won’t have done his chances of earning a deal at the club any harm at all.
The fact he is quick with decent footwork perhaps makes him the sort of youngster that could get supporters out of their seats.
One other thing that could work in the striker’s favour is the lack of striking options at the City Ground. Lewis Grabban and Rafa Mir are the only senior strikers for Sabri Lamouchi to call upon.
Having a youngster in reserve wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. An opportunity is likely to be there for Sole and it’s up to him to grasp it with both hands.