Has Arvin Appiah proved Nottingham Forest don't need Jason Puncheon?

Nottingham Forest fans gesture during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town at City Ground on May 7, 2017 in Nottingham, England.

Nottingham Forest were expected to bring Crystal Palace's out of favour Premier League winger Jason Puncheon to the Championship in the January window.

Arvin Appiah of Nottingham Forest beats Dimitar Evtimov of Burton Albion to score his teams second goal during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Burton Albion and Nottingham...

Have Nottingham Forest discovered their next academy graduate? Arvin Appiah’s latest display for the club’s U23 side certainly hasn’t done his chances of a role in Aitor Karanka’s first-team plans over the next few months any harm.

The 17-year-old winger has been on the radar since starring for England at the U17 World Cup earlier this year. And he certainly made a great first impression on his senior debut, scoring in just six minutes on the pitch during Forest’s 3-2 EFL Cup defeat to Burton Albion.

 

Since then, Appiah has dropped back to U23 level but his performances have continued to impress. The teenage forward was a class apart as Forest thrashed Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 this week, scoring twice and terrorising the Owls defence.

And the fact that Appiah’s emergence has coincided with the decline in reports suggesting Jason Puncheon was bound for the City Ground may be no coincidence.

Jason Puncheon of Crystal Palace during the Pre-Season Friendly between Boreham Wood and Crystal Palace at Meadow Park on July 31, 2018 in Borehamwood, England.

The Sun (16 September, page 63) reported that Forest were planning a January move for the experienced Crystal Palace wide-man, who is out of favour at Selhurst Park right now. Palace will let the 32-year-old Puncheon leave and he would bring experience and craft to Forest’s promotion chasing squad.

But rather than sign a player past his best on a short-term deal, would Forest be better off putting their faith in a player who appears to have the natural talent to be even better than Ben Brereton, Oliver Burke, Ben Osborn and co?

Arvin Appiah of England during the UEFA European Under-17 Championship at Bescot Stadium on May 7, 2018 in Walsall, England.

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