Nottingham Forest are set to add to their impressive youth ranks by securing the services of teenager Dale Taylor.
According to Nottinghamshire Live, the Reds are set to fend off Leeds United and sign the 16-year-old.
The Northern Irishman has been courted heavily for a few months and is seen as one of his country’s most promising young talents.
Taylor is the captain of the Northern Ireland under-17 outfit and operates as a forward by trade.
Remarkably, the youngster made his debut for Linfield as a 15-year-old in a game against local rivals East Belfast, scoring his first senior goal just a month later.
Taylor will join up with Gareth Holmes’ under-18 ranks but his story could be written in the same fashion as another Forest coach.
Andy Reid was just a teenager when he made the switch to England. He made a goalscoring debut in 2000 during a 2-0 win against Sheffield United.
Nowadays the man who made 300 appearances for the Reds is part of the coaching staff with the under-23 ranks, working alongside Chris Cohen.
Reid is becoming a well-respected coach and if Taylor progresses as the club expect him to, he may well be working under the Irishman sooner rather than later.
The fact that the 16-year-old has already played first-team football should only bode well.
He will be used to the hustle and bustle of men’s football and his arrival into the Forest academy makes for an interesting transfer.
Former Football League stalwart David Healy is a keen admirer of the young talent.
The Linfield gaffer won’t have wanted to lose his gem of a youngster but eventually, the clutches of the English game proved too much.
Speaking to Belfast Live, he had high praise, saying: “Dale’s a chunk of a lad and is a strong, tough boy. He’s a Tiger’s Bay boy and if from an area where you need to be tough mentally.
“Dale has all the attributes; he’s a talented boy.”
Nottingham Forest News View – Taylor has chosen the right club to develop
The work being done by Gary Brazil and his team at Nottingham Forest clearly doesn’t go unnoticed.
Taylor could have chosen Leeds as the club to further his career but instead, he clearly fancies his chances of making the grade at the City Ground.
Time will tell whether Reid played a part in his choice but the route from Ireland, albeit a different part, will naturally draw comparisons.
Reid has always been capable of handling himself on the pitch and Healy’s comments on his strength make for interesting reading.
Forest have included an academy graduate in every matchday squad since October 2015 and that will give Taylor optimism.
The challenge now for him is to come in, hit the ground running and ultimately play his way through the ranks towards Sabri Lamouchi’s first-team.