You cannot beat the combination of the right environment and the right coach in football for a player. It is as integral to success as the natural talent that these players possess. The effect of a forward-thinking coach who is great at nurturing talent is a great helping hand in the continual development of the players around him.
On Thursday afternoon, reports emerged that Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster Morgan Gibbs-White is swapping the West Midlands for the East Midlands as he is closes in on a move to Nottingham Forest. It is reportedly a club-record deal worth up to £42.5 million.
The player is going to be reacquainted with a coach he knows extremely well in Steve Cooper, with whom he played for at England Under-17s level, winning the World Cup in 2017, and later during a loan spell while Cooper was in charge of Swansea City in 2020-21.
He revealed that Cooper being in charge of the Swans played a huge factor in his decision to join the club on loan. “I had him in the Under-17s World Cup and I feel like he knows me as a player, and I know him as a manager” Gibbs-White told Swans TV.
“I feel like he can help me progress and develop as a player”
Speaking about what drew him to continue working with Cooper, Gibbs-White said: “I think it’s just his character and the way he’s able to deal with man-to-man management and I feel like I thrived off that at the World Cup.”
He was only able to make six appearances for the Swans after he suffered a fractured foot early in the season and missed three months before being recalled by Wolves in January.
Gibbs-White has been labelled as Cooper’s priority target throughout the summer, despite 15 players coming through the door at the City Ground before him this window, and it looks like the Welsh boss’ patience has paid off. The move being sanctioned comes after Wolves confirmed their own club-record signing in Matheus Nunes, which seems to have paved the way for the Gibbs-White’s move to reunite with Cooper.
The 22-year-old’s game certainly evolved last year as he spent the season on loan with Championship play-off semi-finalists Sheffield United, where he really imposed himself on the second tier, scoring 11 goals and providing nine assists in 35 appearances.
Now that he will be working with Cooper for the third time in his career, the attacking midfielder will be hoping that the strong connection forged between the pair over the years can help him establish himself in the top flight of English football while helping Cooper take Forest to another level as they look to secure their position in the Premier League.