Nottingham Forest may have a future star in their academy ranks in the form of Northern Ireland prospect, Dale Taylor.
The 18-year-old has already made Steve Cooper’s bench in the Championship game that saw Forest beat Swansea City 5-1, but has played the majority of his football with the U18s, as well as the U23s in Premier League 2.
Despite losing to Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup Final, the 18-year-old was able to paint himself in a positive light, with Nottinghamshire Post giving him a rating of 7.5 in the 3-1 loss, stating: “Has bags of potential and embraced playing on the big stage. Didn’t go his, or Forest’s, way on this occasion – but the future is bright. Rating: 7.5/10”
Will Dale Taylor make the grade at Forest?
As per the same source, Taylor was also listed as one of three players who give reason for optimism, with this list compiling players “that could be involved in the first-team in the near future.” His performance had the media outlet waxing lyrical, with Matt Lee of Nottinghamshire Live saying this:
“His physicality made him difficult to mark and it could be argued that he is – slightly – similar to the attacking profile of Kienan Davis. With strength, pace and the occasional display of skill to his disposal, Taylor spreads fear through defenders’ minds as he bears towards goal.
“He has been involved in Steve Cooper’s first-team squad in recent weeks and has already made his senior Northern Ireland debut. If you had to put money on one of these players having a lasting role at Forest, Taylor would be the front-runner.”
Despite not yet making a first-team appearance for Cooper’s Tricky Trees, Taylor has already earned his first cap for Northern Ireland, playing in the same team as Jonny Evans, Stuart Dallas and Paddy McNair against Lithuania.
With four goals in seven games for the U18s, amidst a call-up to his national team, his potential seems limitless and we can certainly expect to see more of the promising centre-forward next season. He is certainly “one to look out for”, as put by The Athletic’s Paul Taylor on Twitter.