Look how far he has come. He deserves the opportunity.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Orjan Nyland has always been rated highly by the coaching staff at Villa Park, and especially so since the arrival of goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler.
In a two-legged affair against Leicester City in the Semi-Final of the Carabao Cup, the Norwegian goalkeeper has proven exactly why.
With a number of game-saving stops under his belt across both legs, Nyland has come on leaps and bounds from the nervy Sky Bet Championship debutant of yesteryear and now looks like an exceptional Premier League level stopper.
Despite his earlier heroics in the cup, some fans were questioning his inclusion over the experienced Pepe Reina – who missed tonight’s second leg via a calf strain – but Nyland pushed his gloved finger to their lips and told them to be quiet with a Man of the Match performance.
Early barrages from Leicester meant that the stopper was required to stoop down low to deny James Maddison on a couple of occasions before Orjan went on to produce a significant finger-tip save to deny Youri Tielemans.
Whether Pepe Reina will be available for selection, or Orjan Nyland for that matter, when the Cup Final comes around, remains to be seen.
But should Nyland be rewarded with the opportunity to play in the game, regardless of the opposition – even if it is Manchester City, who placed six past the goalkeeper just a few weeks ago.
The Norway international is coming into his own as he enters his prime goalkeeping years and the desire to prove himself following a season-ending injury last term is clear to see.
That desire to prove himself could just be the difference between lifting a cup and walking away empty-handed.
Look how far he has come.
Orjan Nyland – Norges nummer én.