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Nottingham Forest can unleash their next Collymore in Detlef Esapa Osong

Nottingham Forest haven’t had the fairytale start to their Premier League return that they would have dreamed of, with Steve Cooper’s side spending the majority of their campaign so far in the relegation zone.

Indeed, the Tricky Trees began to show glimpses of their ability to compete when they picked up crucial points from four of their last five top-flight outings ahead of the World Cup break, which has now left them just one point shy of climbing out of the bottom three.

There is no doubt that Cooper will be spending the prolonged mid-season break searching for solutions and opportunities to strengthen his team ahead of their challenge to retain their Premier League status over the second half of the season.

Whilst the manager will have the chance to strengthen his squad by snapping up new players in the January transfer window, it is clear that the 42-year-old is also keeping a close eye on the emerging talent in the academy.

Both Dale Taylor and Detlef Esapa Osong were spotted in the first-team training session yesterday after clearly impressing Cooper with their contributions to the youth setup over the season so far, and Osong in particular could be an incredible young prospect for the senior team.

The talented 18-year-old forward signed his first professional contract with the Garibaldi last January after featuring heavily in the under-18 setup.

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Stan Collymore - Nottingham Forest

Who did Forest sign Stan Collymore from in 1993?

Jody Caudwell, Forest’s Head of Coaching and Player Development, heaped praise on the youngster when he penned his first deal, claiming that Osong has a “bright future” at the City Ground.

Caudwell gushed: “We feel he has a bright future at the football club. Esapa has great potential in his position which he is displaying in training and in games week on week.”

Should Osong be given a chance?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Across 40 appearances in the under-18 and under-21 teams, Osong has scored 19 goals and registered five assists, with a goal contribution every 136 minutes so far, proving that he can offer a consistent and reliable goal threat.

Cooper could even have Forest’s next Stan Collymore on his hands with the young centre-forward, who is showing signs that he is a prolific and natural finisher who can offer goal contributions in big moments too.

Collymore was a favourite at the City Ground during the 1990s, scoring 45 goals in 78 appearances for the Reds.

Moving to the present day, Osong scored a brace and delivered an assist in last season’s FA Cup Youth semi-final against Chelsea under-18s, which led to the Nottingham Forest under-18 side securing their place in the final against Manchester United.

The talented young striker now has the opportunity to impress Cooper whilst training with the first team and will likely be seen in the senior setup in no time at all if he continues to flourish and impress in the academy.