Jamaal Lascelles is heading for the Premier League.
It may be that he helps Nottingham Forest to take that step up in class at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, with Stuart Pearce’s side clinging to promotion dreams.
The 21-year-old is, however, destined for the top-tier come what may.
Newcastle United struck a deal for his services over the summer, with Karl Darlow set to leave the City Ground for St James’ Park alongside him.
The Magpies have bought into the potential of the pair, with Darlow a goalkeeper with many years in front of him at the age of 24.
Alan Pardew may have been an interested spectator on Sunday as Forest faced Birmingham City in the Championship, with a lunchtime kick-off allowing him to catch the game before facing Everton in top-flight competition later in the day.
He will have been pleased to see both Lascelles and Darlow on display, but will have been far from impressed by their contribution to the collective cause.
Lascelles in particular struggled to get to grips with the contest upon his return to Forest’s starting XI and posted defensive numbers which suggest there is plenty of rust to be shaken off before he is ready for English football’s elite.
|Match||Goals Conceded||Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Effective Clearance||Duel Lost||Interception||Mins Played|
|Jamaal Lascelles||Forest vs Birmingham||3||0||0||5||5||1||90|
In fairness, Lascelles formed part of a Forest side which was well short of its best from one to 11.
Luck has not been on their side of late, but rocked confidence is leading to costly errors and too many players taking a free ride.
Lascelles has offered enough since breaking into the first-team fold to earn England U21 recognition and has the potential to be a Premier League star of the future.
He still has much to learn, though, and Pardew will be hoping that some of Pearce’s defensive nous rubs off on the youngster before he packs his bags for Tyneside.