Nottingham Forest defeated West Ham 1-0 on Sunday and Neco Williams highlighted exactly why Steve Cooper tried so hard to sign him. The Reds won the contest courtesy of a goal by Taiwo Awoniyi scored just before the half-time interval.

Forest were worthy of at least a point. In truth, their battling qualities and sheer determination probably meant they warranted all three. Dean Henderson was to thank, however, with the Manchester United loanee saving a Declan Rice penalty.

Williams stars for Forest
(Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images)

There were several players wearing the Garibaldi that warranted the Man of the Match accolade. Lewis O’Brien was given the plaudits in the stadium and on Sky Sports, whilst Henderson clearly had an impact on the final score.

Williams would have been a strong outside bet for the award though. The ex-Liverpool man was ‘absolutely brilliant’, according to Jermaine Jenas and he wasn’t wrong. The 21-year-old could quite easily have claimed the Man of the Match award.

Who Scored highlights his brilliance. Some of the statistics really jump off the page and at £17 million, Williams is already showcasing his ability to develop into a solid Premier League footballer.

The Wales international made six tackles, completed four clearances and also made two key passes during his 90 minutes on the City Ground turf. He also attempted nine crosses and with 76 touches he was on the ball more than any Forest player.

Williams stars for Forest and there is more to come

It was always going to be a tough start for the Reds newcomer. In replacing Djed Spence he had some seriously big shoes to fill and perhaps the two players are somewhat different.

Williams has typically operated as a full-back during his career. Cooper will now expect him to fulfil wing-back responsibilities and a settling-in period was anticipated.

Williams stars for Forest
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

On the evidence of Sunday, the 21-cap star is a quick learner. He was confident enough to grab the game by the scruff of the neck from his right wing-back role and his energy was unbelievable.

Williams will have to show a certain level of consistency. On Sunday he was brilliant though and the youngster already looks like he could prove a bargain signing.

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