Arvin Appiah is among the more exciting prospects to have emerged from Nottingham Forest’s famed academy system in recent times.

Talent has continued to trickle through, with the likes of Joe Worrall, Matty Cash and Ryan Yates making the step up.

They are, though, a no-nonsense centre-half, hard-working wideman and dogged midfield enforcer.

Welcome additions to the ranks, but unlikely to make too many headlines.

Appiah, however, boasts the ability to become a crowd-pleaser.

Amid the calls for greater creativity, the 18-year-old may yet prove to be the answer.

Big things are expected of him.

His has been a star on the rise for some time, with Forest having moved to tie him to fresh terms in January.

That’s the future sorted, but what about the present?

Well, there have been plenty of calls for a talented youngster to see more game time.


(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Martin O’Neill heeded those during a trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

A full debut was taken in at Hillsborough, with Appiah included from the off in a senior fixture for the first time.

He proved to be one of few positives for the Reds on what was a forgettable evening in South Yorkshire.

Appiah looked every inch the rough diamond Forest had been promised.

Sure, there are a few edges to be straightened out, but this is a man with a matter of minutes under his belt.

Forest are not looking for the finished article at present, but they do need to ensure that things are heading in that direction.

O’Neill may have listened to those calling for Appiah to be involved, but he needs to be used in the right way.

And in the right system.

He has told the club’s official website of his experience against Wednesday: “Overall, considering it was my first start, I thought I did well.

“It was hard because I am an attacking player but in the Championship you have to do a lot of work to help your teammates out.

“I thought I did my defensive duties well and attacking, we probably didn’t have as much of the ball as we would have liked but overall I thought I did okay but there is more to come.”

There are positives and negatives to be taken from that statement.



The promise of more to come bodes well and is to be expected from an ambitious youngster.

Appiah has, however, been given an early taste of life in the Championship.

Most outings in the second tier are a battle.

Forest, though, are not looking to make the most of Appiah’s work rate and ability to track back.

They need him to be making an impact going in the opposite direction.

Everyone needs to do their bit for the good of the collective cause, but they also have to be freed to do their own thing.

Appiah will only flourish if given license to replicate the effort which has brought him to this point.

That means getting on the ball, running at defenders and making things happen.

If he is expected to do too much heading the other way, then he will not be as effective.

Having embraced his potential and let it off the leash, O’Neill and Co must ensure that it is enhanced rather than stunted.