Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has suggested that Aaron Donnelly is knocking on the first team door.

The Reds’ academy starlet travelled with the squad for last week’s game against West Bromwich Albion as the squad’s 19th man.

Donnelly didn’t get on the bench on this occasion but he’s a highly thought of player in the club’s academy.

Cooper hasn’t been shy in coming forward when it comes to handing young players the chance to shine in his Forest team.

Nottingham Forest v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship
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Several have played regularly since he arrived at the club and left-sided defender Donnelly will hope to be the next off the conveyor belt.

Cooper told Nottinghamshire Live: “I thought he was excellent in the 23s game against Newcastle.

“We were short of defenders, and certainly left-sided defenders so we felt we’d put him up for selection.

“We nearly put him on the bench. Ultimately we decided to go a different way but any young player doing well, we hope to give them an opportunity.

“All of the 23s are an option.”

Donnelly’s call-up came amid something of a crisis at left-back.

Max Lowe’s injury has left the Reds desperately short and Jack Colback’s suspension at The Hawthorns meant that Gaetan Bong had to fill in.

His race looks to be run at Forest and perhaps Donnelly isn’t far away from a debut.

Talent: Forest in safe hands with Cooper and Donnelly is next in line

The Northern Ireland under-21 international looks set for a bright future and Forest rate him highly.

Donnelly has made 10 appearances for Andy Reid’s team this season and will probably feature at Burnley on Monday night.

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The beauty of the 18-year-old is that he can play either at centre-back or as a left-back and that gives Cooper options.

Forest have a stunning academy and it’s great that Cooper still appears to be keen to get the younger lads involved.

Donnelly wasn’t involved last week but an opportunity could knock sooner rather than later.

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