Scout Report – Riley Harbottle
Already owning a rich history of bringing through fine footballing talent, Nottingham Forest have this week announced that they have handed a first professional contract to teenager Riley Harbottle.
The 17-year-old defender has been training with the first team squad this season and played for the Forest under-18 side. His outstanding displays after having been given these opportunities have earned him his first pro deal.
Nottingham Forest have not really sprung any surprises this season, sitting in mid-table with 13 points from 11 games and looking like candidates neither for relegation, nor for promotion at this stage. Money is still tight around the City Ground though and being able to bring their own talent through should remain a priority for Mark Warburton at this point.
Recent seasons have seen the emergence of Ben Osborn, Ben Brereton, Tyler Walker and various others from the Forest academy and it’s a conveyor belt they hope that keeps providing them with football products.
Riley Harbottle could be the latest of them and although little is known in the wider football world about him right now, he certainly seems to be pulling up a few (tricky) trees.
Harbottle was born in 2000 and has just turned 17. He has been with Forest for some time and has quickly risen through the ranks of youth teams and reserve football before being given the chance to train with the Championship side’s first-team squad.
Style Of Play
A very modern defender, Harbottle is keen to win his tackles and has shown a good eye for an interception, meaning winning the ball back for his side is a major plus point to his game.
Given the increasing need in the modern game for defenders to do more than just defending, Harbottle has shown already that he can complete most of his passes successfully, ensuring that his side does not lose possession easily.
Clearly given his rather quick rise though the Forest ranks to this point, the club feel that he has a big future at Championship level at least.
It’s hard to predict what level he can ultimately reach, given what little information is available about him, but he is clearly one who will make his medium term living by playing football. With competition the way it is these days and given the influx of foreign players, Nottingham Forest offering him a pro contract means the kid has serious talent.