Callum Hudson-Odoi reminded the Premier League what he is capable of with a brilliant debut goal to earn Nottingham Forest a 1-1 draw with Burnley.
It is 18 months since the 22-year-old last played in England’s top flight as his promising Chelsea career petered out, but, after a year on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, he was back with a bang.
He was Forest’s brightest spark following his deadline-day move from Stamford Bridge and brought his side level with a brilliant curling effort in the second half after Zeki Amdouni had put the Clarets ahead.
Hudson-Odoi is reunited with Steve Cooper, who managed the winger when he was part of the England Under-17 World Cup-winning squad, and England boss Gareth Southgate will hope the Welshman can get the best out of a player he has not used since 2019 and who is considering changing his allegiance to Ghana.
The point for Burnley enabled them to get their campaign up and running after three successive defeats, but they might be disappointed they did not leave with all three after they were denied a late winner by VAR, while they ended the game with 10 men after Lyle Foster elbowed Ryan Yates.
Forest, handing debuts to Hudson-Odoi and Ibrahim Sangare, looked vibrant in the opening 20 minutes and were causing Burnley problems with their pace on the break.
Hudson-Odoi, playing his first Premier League match since January 2022, was enjoying himself and saw a shot blocked after cutting inside from the left.
He came even closer in the 16th minute as Taiwo Awoniyi teed him up and his 20-yard effort was palmed away by Clarets goalkeeper James Trafford.
Burnley weathered the storm and began to come into the game.
They fired a warning shot in the 25th minute when Amdouni fired a low shot toward the bottom corner, but Matt Turner got down well to keep the ball out.
But the Clarets did take lead in the 41st minute as Luca Koleosho skinned Joe Worrall down the left and pulled the ball back for Amdouni to fire into the bottom corner.
Hudson-Odoi had looked Forest’s most dangerous player and he brought the City Ground to life just after the hour mark.
Awoniyi did well to control a high cross and he laid it off to the former Chelsea winger, who cut inside and sent a 20-yard curling effort in off a post, with the goal surviving a VAR check.
Burnley were not so lucky as they thought they had regained the lead in the 76th minute when Sander Berge got past Scott McKenna and teed up Foster, but the Norwegian was ruled to have used his hand and the visitors were denied.
And Foster’s experience with VAR did not get any better as he was shown a red card in added time after referee Robert Jones was invited to check the pitchside monitor after the forward was caught elbowing Yates.