How will Forest's Ben Osborn deal with these challenges next season?

Nottingham Forest 2

Nottingham Forest youngster Ben Osborn will be a marked man in the side's midfield next year.

Nottingham Forest youngster Ben Osborn was one of the club’s best players last season under old boss Stuart Pearce and current boss Dougie Freedman.

He stepped forward in a big way, put his hand up and led by example in big games and despite inconsistency in the team’s performances, he’s one of the club’s players who can look back on the campaign positively.

Providing he stays fit and behaves himself over the summer, it would be a massive surprise if he isn’t one of the first names down in the team sheet for the club’s first competitive game of the next campaign.

The challenge for Osborn is how he’s going to build on this season, work on his weaknesses and generally become a better player.

He’s now one of the first names in the Nottingham Forest side that opposition teams are going to look for and he could face a barrage of tactics next season designed to keep him quiet.

Sides could look to get on top of him physically, which Freedman can counter by ensuring that there is some presence and experience in the midfield next to him.

However, he can’t always rely on protection from teammates and needs to develop his core strength, while relying on his speed and agility to dodge rough challenges.

Opposition sides are also likely to get tight to him whether that’s with someone man marking him or whether sides double up in terms of pressing him to try and force a mistake.

He can counter that by working on his positional way and improving the way he reads the game. If he can predict where the space is going to be before it opens up then he shouldn’t have a problem.

He’s also going to need to adapt slightly because he’s not going to have Gary Gardner next to him in midfield pulling the strings.

However, he’s got all the skills need to be able to drop deep and stay effective, as well as patrolling that space at the top of midfield in behind the striker.

He’s an exciting player and if he stays consistent and even improves, Forest will be in great shape as a result.

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