Another day and another episode in the long-running Nottingham Forest soap opera.

As reported by The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor, Martin O’Neill is on the verge of completing a return to his spiritual home.

One tricky winger from the past has determined his future, but what about one in the present?

If you believe what you read, then Arvin Appiah contributed in part to the departure of Aitor Karanka.

He didn’t wield the axe, but is said to have supporters in high places.

The Nottingham Post are among those to have covered Evangelos Marinakis’ apparent frustration at a lack of game time for a bright young thing.

Karanka gave Appiah a goal-scoring senior debut back in October, but awarded him little else.

One outing in a Carabo Cup defeat to Burton and a late cameo against Leeds is all the 18-year-old has to shout about at present.

Talented

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Marinakis is, allegedly, not impressed.

Nor are a number of Forest fans given the discussion surrounding an academy graduate held in the highest regard.

Many wanted to see him given more of a run as Karanka edged his way towards the exits.

Those calls, though, only serve to highlight the conundrum surrounding a home-grown talent.

Would minutes in a team clearly distracted by events away from the field have aided his development?

With so much expected of him, how much leeway would he have been given if he didn’t hit the ground running?

The last thing Appiah needs is to be burdened with the expectation currently weighing down more seasoned performers.

A clean slate beckons though… for everybody.

O’Neill knows a thing or two about what it takes to deliver for Forest on the flanks.

He has an abundance of experience to pass on and a willing apprentice on which to impart knowledge.

Results, though, have to improve before gambles are taken on untested teenagers.

Established

 

In an ideal world, Appiah will see game time off the bench over the coming weeks – in fixtures Forest have already established control of (such as against Leeds, just a bit earlier than the 89th minute).

He therefore becomes bedded into a positive environment and is granted the freedom to express himself.

Fresh terms have been mooted for an asset the Reds are understandably keen to retain – as per the Nottingham Post – and getting that deal done will also aid Appiah’s cause.

Remove any uncertainty surrounding his future and prepare to let him off the leash.

But if no extension is agreed and results remain unpredictable at best, then what?

Marinakis wants to see youngsters brought through, as do a loyal fan base, but there has to be a time and a place.

Forest have not reached that point yet.

O’Neill is the latest leading man to join the show, though, and Appiah certainly boasts the potential to become more than an extra in the supporting cast before the 2018/19 campaign is out.