The career of Callum Hudson-Odoi has hit the pause button in recent years but here was a spectacular reminder of how he burst onto the scene as a teenager.
Taking the ball inside the penalty area, the England international curled a wonderful shot in off the post to register a fine start to this new chapter.
Hudson-Odoi was persuaded to leave Chelsea this summer by Steve Cooper, his former England coach, and it is a relationship which Nottingham Forest hope will help the winger to flourish. He is still only 22, and for a transfer fee of just £3m he could prove one of the bargains of the season if he can rebuild his reputation.
Hudson-Odoi’s contribution shifted the focus momentarily away from another winger, Burnley’s Luca Koleosho, who already appears a brilliant prospect. Koleosho was signed this summer from Espanyol for just £2.6m and the 19-year-old produced an excellent performance which will give Forest defender Gonzalo Montiel sleepless nights.
Montiel is a World Cup winner with Argentina yet was terrorised by Koleosho before he was taken off early in the second half with his brain frazzled. Koleosho’s display will provide Burnley’s manager Vincent Kompany with huge encouragement for the season ahead, as the visitors secured their first point since returning to the Premier League.
It could even have been a first victory, but referee Robert Jones disallowed a second-half goal from Lyle Foster for an alleged handball by Sander Berge. There was also late drama with Foster dismissed for elbowing Ryan Yates in the chest.
Nottingham Forest’s Ryan Yates grapples with Burnley striker Lyle Foster (C) – Getty Images/Darren Staples
Yet along with Hudson-Odoi, it was another new arrival, Koleosho, who captured the imagination here at the City Ground. Cooper believes Hudson-Odoi’s impact offered a glimpse of a bright future.
“It was a moment of brilliance for the goal and any new player will want to hit the ground running,” he said. “I know his quality and he can have moments like that which you need in the Premier League. It will be great for him and us, he’s not played much football but I backed him to do well and he did. We’ve got to push him to do more of that.”
Kompany declined to criticise Jones after the match, preferring to focus on Koleosho’s potential. His electric run late in the first half enabled Burnley to take the lead after Zeki Amdouni’s crisp strike.
“He’s fearless and I don’t know how long he is going to sustain this form. He can run for three people,” he said. “He’s only 19 and if we can get his end product then it will be another weapon to have. This journey for us is not easy but at least there’s something at the end of it that we can grow. I don’t really feel anger about the decisions. I’m proud of the squad and a sign of a lot of progress.”
Burnley’s poor start had led to suggestions that Kompany may have to adapt his style of play after easing to the Championship title last season with an expansive approach. Yet here they were deserving of a point and in Koleosho and Amdouni they have two players to keep an eye on.
There was also a clear sign of the direction Cooper is aiming to take his Forest team in. Cooper’s reconstructed squad is now packed with different options and the £30m record signing of defensive midfielder Ibrahim Sangare allows Forest to set up in a more attacking formation.
Hudson-Odoi, Morgan Gibbs-White, Anthony Elanga and Taiwo Awoniyi were Forest’s front four here, with the focus on speed and risk-taking.
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