Being the son of a legendary footballer certainly brings with it some element of pressure. There are not many who have gone on to perform at the highest level quite like their fathers have. Jordi Cruyff, anyone? One young man who is currently trying to forge his own path is Nottingham Forest striker Tyler Walker.
The 21-year-old is the son of former Forest and England defender Des Walker. The 59-cap England legend spent two spells at Forest before retiring in 2004 and is considered one of the greatest defenders in the club’s history.
So following in his footsteps was always going to be difficult. Walker has impressed at Forest but has also had to spend time on loan with clubs like Burton Albion, Stevenage and Port Vale.
The young striker has certainly had his moments at the City Ground and this season was looking promising for him. He scored four goals in 16 games for Forest but after Aitor Karanka’s arrival his first-team opportunities dried up.
Instead, he found himself loaned out to Bolton Wanderers where things did not go to plan. He struggled at the Macron Stadium and played just five times. Eventually, he was dropped to the under-23s and played no part in the Trotters Championship survival run.
So what next for Walker? Has the time come for him to leave the City Ground, for good?
The reality is that this summer might be the best time for Walker to move on.
Karanka, it seems, is not a fan. The club has ample options in the striker position with Joe Lolley, Ben Brereton, Apostolos Vellios, Darryl Murphy and the returning Jason Cummings all options. New faces are also expected and Walker will soon have to contend with the emerging talent of Arvin Appiah.
Walker needs to start making a name for himself as more than just the son of the legendary Des Walker. Trying to do that at the club where he is so revered is always going to be a massive challenge.
This summer might be the perfect time for Walker to say he wants a move elsewhere. He could thrive in League One and become a star in his own right. But it means bidding farewell to the City Ground and the legacy of his father.
Nottingham Forest must loan out academy graduate Joe Worrall
The Reds have a proud history of nurturing players from their own academy.
Nottingham Forest have made a solid start to the 2018/19 campaign with the Reds winning one and drawing two of their first three matches, playing some eye-catching football in the process.
Having spent heavily in the summer it looks as though the club’s hierarchy have tasked boss Aitor Karanka with making a genuine attempt at reaching the Premier League for the first time in over 20 years.
Given the amount of money spent it does seem as though some of last year’s players might be nothing more than fringe operatives this season and that could see many of the players deemed surplus sent out on loan before the end of the month. .
One man who could fall foul of Forest’s recruitment drive is academy graduate Joe Worrall, with the youngster failing to make any of Karanka’s squads so far this season after recovering from a knee problem which saw him miss the back end of last season.
The 21-year-old has played just over 50 times for the Reds since making his debut in October 2016 in an away game against Reading and there has been enough from his performances to suggest that he can become a regular in the Forest team at some stage.
After his latest injury setback, however, it is vitally important that Worrall gets some games under his belt and after Forest signed Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueriredo and Michael Hefele during the summer, it seems extremely unlikely that the prospect will be featuring for the first-team any time soon and it might be in the club’s best interests to sort Worrall out with a club where he will play more games.
In previous years, Forest haven’t been blessed with the plethora of talent that they have within their ranks now and that perhaps means that some of the club’s very own products might have to wait for more first-team chances, particularly over the course of this season.
Worrall has the ability to definitely be seen as one for the future at the City Ground, but a loan spell does seem like the best option for his development, at least for the 2018/19 campaign.
Nottingham Forest bagged a bargain with Adlene Guedioura free transfer
The Algerian is thriving in his second stint at Nottingham Forest.
In January, Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka made plenty of additions to the team at the City Ground. Plenty of new faces arrived, with many of them being praised by fans immediately. But one who certainly puzzled some was Adlene Guedioura.
The former Forest man returned to the club he left in 2013. His previous spell at the City Ground was a success, so fans knew what he was capable of. However, the 32-year-old had struggled for football in recent times. He has managed just six games with Middlesbrough that season and just five overall in the whole of 2016-17 with Watford.
Perhaps the Algerian was passed it?
However, the experienced midfielder has proven that is not the case. He slotted straight into the Forest team again last season and added some much-needed energy and experience to the middle of the park.
This season, he has been even better. Nottingham Forest have plenty to thank Guedioura for in their unbeaten start to the season. As well as his one goal and one assist so far, his overall game has been magnificent.
He is keeping the likes of Liam Bridcutt and Ben Watson out of the starting XI and that is a testament to his form this season.
Considering he did not cost Nottingham Forest a penny, it looks like this was an absolute steal from the Reds.
Tyler Walker bags hat-trick for Mansfield as Nottingham Forest scrape through
The talented striker is highly thought of at the City Ground.
Mansfield Town went through to the next round of the League Cup in scintillating style last night. They defeated League One newbies Accrington Stanley 6-1 in a fantastic performance from the League Two side.
There was also a reason for Nottingham Forest to be pleased with the result. It was a tough night for Forest. Reduced to ten men, Matty Cash scored a last-minute equaliser to take their tie with Bury to penalties. They went on to win 10-9 in a thrilling shoot-out.
But whilst that was going on, one of their young stars was walking off with a match ball. Tyler Walker scored a hat-trick in the Mansfield win.
It takes his tally for the season to four goals from three games and is hopefully a sign of things to come from the 21-year-old.
He burst onto the scene at Nottingham Forest in 2015 but soon found it tough to get minutes at the City Ground.
Subsequent loan spells at Burton Albion, Stevenage and Port Vale have been somewhat successful. However, a stint in the Championship with Bolton Wanderers last season certainly set him back.
Walker made the bold move to head back down to League Two, where it seems he is set to have a fantastic season with the Stags.
Nottingham Forest fans will hope Walker continues his fine form and can eventually bring it back to the City Ground.
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