Cooper may already have an eventual heir to Ryan Yates in Nottingham Forest’s talented teen

Cooper is well aware of how influential graduates from the academy can be for Nottingham Forest, as they’ve experienced both on-field success and financial gains from their graduates in recent years. Notable examples include players like Matty Cash and Brennan Johnson, who have not only contributed to the team’s performance but have also brought substantial profit when they left the club.

The Forest academy, under the guidance of Steve Cooper, has been a valuable resource, with players like Joe Worrall and Ryan Yates remaining key members of the squad. There’s also a wealth of promising talent waiting in the wings to follow in their footsteps.

Who is Kristian Clarke?

One emerging talent who has recently come into the spotlight is 16-year-old Kristian Clarke, a midfielder in Forest’s U18 team. Clarke joined the club at the age of 12 and has progressed through the academy ranks. This summer, he signed his first scholarship, marking the beginning of a crucial phase in his journey towards the Premier League.

Kristian Clarke’s potential hasn’t gone unnoticed, as he was selected as the Forest representative in the Guardian’s ‘Next Generation 2023’ list. According to journalist Will Unwin, Clarke possesses all the necessary qualities to become an exceptional central midfielder, a role he predominantly plays for the U18’s.

Clarke’s versatility is another strength, as he can operate both as an attacking midfielder and in a deeper role. The Guardian has described him as a mobile, quick, and comfortable player on the ball.



What could the future hold for Kristian Clarke?

In his previous season, Clarke made 12 appearances in the U18 Premier League, even scoring a goal, indicating a bright future ahead. He’s got plenty of role models at the City Ground, such as Brennan Johnson, who played a crucial part in the club’s promotion and helped them stay in the Premier League. Johnson’s £47.5 million transfer to Spurs this summer showcases the success academy graduates can achieve.

Another player Clarke could look up to is Ryan Yates, who plays in the same position. Yates, once labeled a “culture-setter” by Cooper, persevered despite challenges and is now a key figure at Forest. Clarke shares a similar positive attitude, making him an ideal candidate to emulate Yates’s path.

Yates, who has made 170 appearances for his beloved club, embodies the dream of playing for Nottingham Forest, setting a high standard for future talents like Clarke to follow. All signs point to Clarke potentially scripting a similar success story in the years to come.

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