Roarie Deacon certainly put himself in the shop window throughout Sutton United’s historic run to the FA Cup fifth round.
Released by Arsenal as a youngster, the 25-year-old may not have capped his cup journey with a fairytale winner against his former club, although he did rattle the bar as Sutton lost 2-0 at Gander Green Lane, but the talented forward clearly did enough to prove that he belongs at a higher level.
Deacon, who will be out of contract in the summer, proved his second-tier credentials with an influential performance in the 1-0 win against Leeds United in the Third Round. And it’s not as if he only turns up for the cameras either.
With Sutton forced to face reality again since Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott brought their dream to an end, the one-time Sunderland attacker has remained in impressive form. He’s in his most prolific scoring run of the season, netting four times in seven fixtures after hitting the same amount in the 40 games previously.
He’s scored big goals too, including a last minute equaliser against league leaders and fellow FA Cup fairytale protagonists Lincoln City earlier this month.
Doubts will always persist over whether Deacon can make the grade in the Championship. Especially with Fulham harbouring Premier League ambitions and boasting the league’s most prolific attack.
Yet, Nottingham Forest should be more than aware of the benefits of giving a non-league star a chance. After all, former Tooting and Mitcham forward Michail Antonio enjoyed a prolific season at the City Ground in 2014/15.
And Deacon could follow a similar path.