Nottingham Forest reported back for pre-season training today ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, with the Reds looking to bounce back from their disappointing end to last season.
Jack Colback, Lyle Taylor and Tyler Blackett have all arrived on free transfers, bolstering Sabri Lamouchi’s squad with proven Championship quality.
During pre-season, the boss might also look to run the rule over some of the club’s younger players and one of those hoping to impress might be Jake Taylor.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan with Port Vale in League Two, scoring seven goals and registering one assist from his 25 appearances.
His stock at Forest is relatively high, with the club offering a new contract back in January which runs until June 2021.
With that in mind, Lamouchi could choose to hand him a chance to shine in Forest’s pre-season campaign, starting with tomorrow’s short trip to Mansfield Town.
The central midfielder might be an ideal addition to Lamouchi’s squad, although he will need to work hard to win a place in the team.
Ben Watson has been linked with a move away and if that were to be the case, it would certainly help his case for an opportunity.
New signing Jack Colback will be a frontrunner for a shirt, but Ryan Yates is still occasionally inconsistent and Samba Sow injured more often than not.
That could see a door swing open – especially if Watson did head elsewhere – and a positive showing in pre-season could see Taylor earn a chance during 2020/21.
It will be interesting to see if Taylor has improved since his loan spell but it’s fair to say Vale supporters were appreciative of his efforts in League Two.
The jump to the Championship will represent a challenge, of course, but Lamouchi has shown a willingness to utilise youth.
Taylor is strong in possession of the ball, gets stuck into challenges and likes to try and take players on.
It will be interesting to see if he does get a chance at Forest and it’d be no surprise if he became the latest player to step off the seemingly endless conveyor belt of talent in place at the City Ground.