Nottingham Forest fans are hoping that this season will be an enjoyable one, with the club spending big in the transfer window with the aim of achieving the ultimate goal of promotion from the Championship.
Forest have picked up five points from a potential nine during their first three games this season and made it past Bury in the cup last night – despite having to hold their nerve in a penalty shootout that eventually saw them run-out as 10-9 victors from the spot.
One player though, who is often underappreciated at times for Nottingham Forest is young midfielder turned left-back Ben Osborn, and this season could see the young star prove his worth more than ever, in a campaign in which Aitor Karanka’s side are aiming for the shining lights of the Premier League, rather than looking over a gloomy shoulder into League One.
Osborn began his career in Derby County’s youth set-up, before moving to Forest in 2003, and has since enjoyed 15 years growing up and developing through the Academy at the City Ground, before reaching the first-team.
The 24-year-old made his professional senior debut for the club in 2014 at the age of just 19, during a 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town at Portman Road, and hasn’t looked back since.
Osborn has made 186 appearances for Forest in all competitions over the last four years, and has contributed 14 goals in that time, from midfield.
The midfielder has made himself a regular on the teamsheet at the City Ground, with him being an ever-present during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns in the League, but this season, he’s been moved to an altogether new position, under the leadership of Aitor Karanka.
Osborn has seemingly become somewhat of a scapegoat this season; despite the fact that Forest are yet to lose a competitive fixture this year so far, and we’re only two weeks into the season.
The 24-year-old’s versatility makes him a dream for a manager, given the fact that he can play out at left-back, up in attacking midfield, or out on the left-hand side of midfield – and although he isn’t naturally a left-back, he’s done an excellent job when put there, at keeping big-name players quiet as Forest fans have seen in recent seasons.
Furthermore, Osborn’s drive, fitness and ability to open up a game can’t be called into question, with the young midfielder’s capability to get all around a football pitch, and be a constant nuisance for the opposition.
Whether he’s opening up space for teammates, looking to kickstart an attack, or dropping deep to nullify any potential attacking threat from the opposition, Osborn is invaluable to Nottingham Forest, and if he carries on playing how he is, Premier League clubs will begin to show a keen interest in him.