Why Nottingham Forest have struck gold with a professional deal for Fin Back
The 17-year-old has been a star performer for the Reds at the youth level, earning rave reviews for his strong performances for Gareth Holmes’ U-18 side, and Forest have moved quickly to reward him with his first professional deal at the City Ground.
Fin Back, who joined Forest at the age of 8, has caught the eye with his rapid progress through the youth ranks. The talented teenager has already netted twice for the U-18s this term, adding to the two goals that he scored in the previous campaign.
Held in high regard by the youth coaching staff, Back is viewed as a technically-gifted creative midfielder with a deadly eye for goal. His promise and potential have prompted many to tip him for a big future in the beautiful game, with the 17-year-old already illustrating a level of maturity that belies his tender years as a footballer.
Back is yet to be handed his senior professional bow for his boyhood club but a call-up to the senior ranks shouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility if he continues to impress for the U-18s, particularly with current head coach Sabri Lamouchi showing an inclination to promote some talented youngsters from the academy to the first-team.
Realistically, though, the next big step in his development would be to go out on loan and gain some exposure in senior football in League One or League Two.
Given his rapid progress, the teenager will also be expected to make the step up to the U-23 side in the near future but one does get the feeling that he needs regular minutes under his belt at the highest level to further his development and take his game to the next level.
Nottingham Forest have really turned on the heat in the Championship this term and a blistering start to life under Lamouchi has definitely elevated the promotion noise at the City Ground, with the Reds currently placed 2nd in the standings after winning six and drawing four of their first ten league games.
It might be too early to jump to a conclusion so early in a 46-game season but Forest could be in with a real chance to make the playoffs this term if they manage to keep up their consistency levels throughout the entirety of the campaign.
Much to the pleasure of the fans at the City Ground, some of Forest’s homegrown youngsters, including Joe Worrall and Matthew Cash, have been amongst the driving forces behind a positive start to the season.
Academy starlet Brennan Johnson has enjoyed quite a lot of involvement, especially in the League Cup fixtures, while Jordan Gabriel and Alex Mighten also played cameos off the bench in the 5-0 defeat to Arsenal. Highly-rated Jayden Richardson was also named on the bench against Fleetwood Town in the League Cup first-round tie.
Those are clear signs that Lamouchi is keen to offer the youngsters a chance to prove their credentials and Fin Back could be the next in the queue to make his breakthrough at some point in the future.
Nottingham Forest’s widely-revered youth system has blooded England internationals like Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson since the turn of the century, while Oliver Burke, Jamaal Lascelles and Arvin Appiah have all earned big-money moves elsewhere in the recent past.
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Suffice to say, Fin Back has the potential to be the next big thing at the City Ground and Nottingham Forest offering him a maiden professional deal is a step in the direction, one that underpins their objectives under the stewardship of Lamouchi.