Nottingham Forest drew 2-2 with Notts County last night in their penultimate pre-season outing and Loic Mbe Soh showcased his worth to Steve Cooper.
The Reds held a lead twice against County. Goals from Sam Surridge and Cafu were cancelled out by strikes from Macauley Langstaff and Rob Austin.
It proved a steady run-out for a lot of fringe players; none more so than Mbe Soh.
The Frenchman will have been frustrated with how his time at the City Ground has progressed so far.
He arrived from PSG in the summer of 2020 but injuries and managerial preference has restricted him to just nine senior appearances.
The former FIFA Golden Boy nominee checked in on a permanent deal and was expected to fight for a first-team place.
After picking up an injury during 2020/21, he was handed the chance to start last season as a first-choice option.
With Joe Worrall injured, he partnered Scott McKenna during last season’s curtain-raiser at Coventry City.
His stint in the team lasted just 45 minutes though and a groin injury meant he was withdrawn just before half-time.
Mbe Soh actually made just two appearances for the Reds last season and he’s yet to play under Steve Cooper.
Mbe Soh showcased talent to Forest
The Reds head coach will surely be pleased with how the 21-year-old has returned to pre-season this summer.
Last night, Mbe Soh did tire towards the end of the game but in the first half, he was strong, composed and highlighted just how good he reads the game.
The player’s chances of regular football do seem bleak over the next 12 months.
Forest have McKenna, Joe Worrall, Steve Cook and Moussa Niakhate within their central defensive ranks.
With Cooper often utilising three centre-backs, however, there could be a place for the youngster in the squad.
Mbe Soh looks leaner, stronger and it seems obvious that at some point he will enjoy a breakthrough campaign in senior football.
Last night Forest were only playing non-league opposition and perhaps any praise needs to be tempered a bit.
Still, Mbe Soh can only play against what is in front of him and Cooper will have been seriously impressed with his defender last night.