Nottingham Forest talent Jonathan Panzo shone as the Reds Under-23s defeated Birmingham to secure a play-off place on Friday night.
Andy Reid’s team ran out 3-0 winners at St Andrew’s and they’ve now wrapped up a place at the end of season play-offs.
An own goal by Alfie Chang and goals from Alex Gibson-Hammon and Panzo ensure a pretty comfortable night for the Reds.
It was the performance of Panzo that caught the eye. The centre-back arrived at Forest in January from Dijon having worked with Steve Cooper before.
The left-sided defender was anticipated to be around the first team but those opportunities haven’t been forthcoming.
At 21-years-old he does have a very bright future and at least he’s playing regular football albeit for the under-23s.
Panzo is uncompromising in stature and carries the ball out from the back extremely; a trait that was evident with his goal from Friday night.
The defender played for Cooper’s England team that lifted the under-17 World Cup several years ago.
He previously spent time with Monaco, making three appearances for the senior ranks in Ligue 1.
Panzo can be real talent for Forest in the future
When the 21-year-old was signed there were some doubts over Tobias Figueiredo and whether he’d stay at the club.
Ultimately he did stay and perhaps that’s been the reason for him being forced to wait patiently for a first-team chance.
Reid has seen his team benefit from Panzo being in the team and his left-sided nature has brought balance to the team.
Forest have Scott McKenna who plays in that role for the first team and perhaps Panzo will compete with him next season.
For now, he will hope to help the under-23s win promotion in their maiden Premier League 2 campaign.
His goal on Friday night was excellent. He carried the ball almost the full length of the pitch, played a lovely one-two and then poked neatly past the goalkeeper.
There is lots to like about Panzo and hopefully, he won’t be too long before he’s impacting the senior ranks.