Nottingham Forest are set to loan Aaron Donnelly to League One outfit Port Vale, according to Sky Sports News. The Reds left-back made his first-team debut in August when he started against Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup.
Now, the youngster is set to cut his teeth in the third tier. The Valiants are enjoying their maiden campaign back in League One and currently sit in 13th place.
Darrell Clarke’s team are eight points outside the play-offs, although that would be an ambitious goal. Instead, they will hope to secure another season in League One and that would represent a sound campaign.
Donnelly has been catching the eye of the Forest academy for some years. He has risen through the ranks and last season helped the under-23s reach the play-offs in Premier League 2.
The 19-year-old was handed a chance to impress Steve Cooper in pre-season. He clearly did as he was handed the chance to start the game against Grimsby back in August.
Forest won that game 3-0 and afterwards, Steve Cooper praised his performance as ‘excellent’. He’s not featured since, however, and now regular football is on the horizon.
The Reds have a plethora of left-backs. Renan Lodi is currently in possession of the shirt, with Harry Toffolo deputising on some occasions and Omar Richards waiting in the wings when he returns to full fitness.
Forest to loan Donnelly to Port Vale
The Reds have loaned players to Vale Park in the past with limited success. Darrell Clarke took Will Swan on loan and didn’t really play him but prior to that, John Askey managed to get the best out of Jake Taylor before signing him permanently.
Still, Clarke has a good track record when it comes to nurturing youngsters. As a result, Donnelly will be in good hands when he heads to Port Vale to gain some invaluable first-team experience.
Forest have genuinely high hopes for the young defender. He’s a decent size for his age and is capable of operating as a full-back or a wing-back, with that versatility likely to be needed over the next few months at Port Vale.
The challenge for Donnelly is to quickly settle and get himself into the team on a regular basis. Cooper will be watching closely and if he does succeed in Staffordshire, perhaps a Forest chance could beckon.