Date: 4th April 2019 at 5:46pm
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Nottingham Forest defender Jayden Richardson signed his first professional contract on Wednesday and fans took to social media to reveal their delight in the announcement. Richardson has been a regular in the u23s and has been watched by Martin O’Neill and the coaching staff at times this season.

The professional contract is proof of his development and fans showered him with support on Twitter. Many are willing the defender to continue his ascent up the Forest ranks to eventually become a first-team regular, but he may have to be patient for an opportunity.

Richardson has Tendayi Darikwa, Saidy Janko and Sam Byram ahead of him in the pecking order, but Janko and Byram are only on loan and will return to their parent clubs this summer so Darikwa will be unchallenged at right-back. That may give the teen hopes of being in and around the squad, unless a new face is brought in.

O’Neill has shown a willingness to play some of Forest’s younger first-team players, however, with Ryan Yates (21), Diogo Goncalves (22), Joao Carvalho (22), Saidy Janko (23) and Matty Cash (21) picking up 6127 minutes of Championship football this season. Whether Richardson can be the next remains to be seen.

Forest u23s are currently seventh in the Professional Development League North with 34 points from 25 games this season. They next face Burnley on Friday.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Official: Defender signs professional contract at Nottingham Forest

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