Nottingham Forest have confirmed that James Clarridge has signed his first professional deal with the Reds.
That’s according to a statement posted on the club website, in which Forest revealed that they have tied the highly-rated 17-year-old centre-back, who has been on the club’s books for 10 years, down to a professional contract.
In reaction to the deal, Clarridge said: “This is a really big step for me and I’m excited to continue my time with the club. My first professional contract is a big step for me and my family and it’s a really proud moment for us all.”
With The Athletic’s Paul Taylor stating his belief that Clarridge is one of Forest’s stars of the future, the fact that the Reds have got the signing of such a promising young player over the line is sure to delight Chris Hughton.
According to Taylor, the 17-year-old is seen as a “very interesting” prospect by the Nottingham Forest academy staff.
Having regularly featured for both the club’s U18 and U23 sides this season, the centre-back has demonstrated that he is already comfortable while in possession of the ball, as well as showing that he has the attributes to develop into a leader at the club. It is also claimed by The Athletic that Clarridge is very strong physically, while also being accomplished technically.
In the same article, it is reported that a number of Premier League clubs had been beginning to take notice of the Forest youth prospect, who is currently a part of the England U17 setup.
As such, the fact that Clarridge will now be spending the next few years with Forest, at the very least, is undoubtedly fantastic news for the club, as it would very much appear as if the Garibaldis could have a real talent on their hands in the not so distant future.