Oli Hammond could make his Wales under-21 debut against Moldova on Friday and the Nottingham Forest man will hope to emulate a current Reds talent.

The man who often found himself captaining the Forest under-23s last season is growing as a player.

He made his first-team debut against Wolves in the Carabao Cup and has played a starring role in Andy Reid’s team this season.

Hammond has played five times for the under-23s in their Premier League 2 campaign, scoring twice from the middle of the park.

Port Vale v Nottingham Forest - Pre-Season Friendly Match
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He was strangely used on the right of midfield by Chris Hughton during his first-team debut. That is unlikely to be where he features going forward and seemed a strange one.

If Hammond is looking for inspiration, he’d be wise to glance towards Brennan Johnson. The 20-year-old played four times for the Wales under-21 ranks, scoring once and is now a full international.

After a year spent playing for Lincoln on loan, Johnson is now ripping up the Championship with Forest. He has scored twice and claimed three assists during 2021/22 and is quickly becoming undroppable.

 

Hammond is in the Wales under-21 squad for the first time. He could face Moldova and Holland in the coming days and his pathway looks similar to that of Johnson.

Hammond on track to become Forest first-team player

Back in March, the 18-year-old penned his first professional contract with Forest. That offers a big indication as to just how highly rated he is on the banks of the River Trent.

Now, he has a big chance to force himself into the first-team fold and seeing the likes of Johnson, Ryan Yates and Joe Worrall playing regularly can only help.

Nottingham Forest v Wolverhampton Wanderers  - Carabao Cup Second Round
(Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Hammond getting the nod for Wales under-21s over the next week or so would do his confidence the world of good.

There is a real chance under Steve Cooper for the academy players to win themselves a place in the first-team picture.

Hammond will hope he’s the next off the conveyor belt.

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