Nottingham Forest youngster Aaron Donnelly was hailed for his performance as Port Vale drew 2-2 with Portsmouth at Fratton Park. The player is really starting to grow as a player and that was an unexpected point against a play-off chasing team.

The Reds allowed Donnelly to join the Valiants on loan until the end of the season in January. The youngster has perhaps outgrown under-21 football and the staff at Forest believed he was ready for a taste of the men’s game.

Donnelly hailed Port Vale
(Photo; James Baylis; AMA; Getty Images)

Those thoughts haven’t been misguided either. Donnelly has started to shine at Vale Park and is making the spot as the left-sided central defender his own in Darrell Clarke’s team.

Vale have defied the odds somewhat during 2022/23. Many people had backed them for an instant return to League Two after they won the play-offs last season but they’re 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Signing Donnelly from Forest has helped them considerably. On Saturday, Stoke on Trent Live praised his performance, giving him a 7.5/10 for his showing at Fratton Park.

They wrote: “Excellent on the left of the back three. Seems to be learning from Smith. The only blip was a booking for dissent.”

Donnelly hailed for Port Vale performance

It’s great to see that the Reds youngster is starting to showcase what everyone at Forest knows he is capable of. Steve Cooper is a huge fan of the defender and he gave him a start as Forest defeated Grimsby in the Carabao Cup back in August.

The 19-year-old is still improving. He does look to have a bright future though and he could become a big player at the City Ground in the future.

Donnelly hailed Port Vale
(Photo; Mick Walker; CameraSport; Getty Images)

Donnelly has now made 12 appearances for Port Vale. It’s fair to say that at times he’s been a little bit inconsistent but as a young player that’s not completely unexpected.

The fact he starred against Portsmouth is telling though. Pompey had been in fine form before Saturday and perhaps Donnelly is a man for the big occasion.

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