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23 goals in 43 games: Nottingham Forest unlucky in Nicklas Bendtner redemption

The Danish striker has been in fine form since joining Rosenborg a year ago.

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Photo: Getty Images

It is now one year since Nottingham Forest admitted defeat in their attempt to save the career of Nicklas Bendtner. The Danish striker was allowed to leave the club for Norwegian side Rosenborg 12 months ago this week.

The former Arsenal, Juventus and Wolfsburg talent has never settled into a footballing career. He has made more headlines off the pitch than on it during his time playing professional football.

At Forest, he was hoping to redeem himself. A striker more than capable of scoring in the Championship, Forest fans were hopeful when they secured his signature in September 2016.

(Photo by Paul Faith / AFP/Getty Images)

Bendtner’s spell at the City Ground went the way many doubters predicted. A sour stint at Nottingham Forest saw him spend most of his time on the treatment table. After just six months, 17 games and a measly two goals Bendtner was gone.

The Dane made a move to the Norwegian giants in Trondheim, perhaps his last shot at redemption.

Nottingham Forest fans are probably shocked at what has happened since.

Finally, ‘Lord’ Bendtner has found his feet. In the 12 months since Forest cut their losses and allowed his Scandinavian return the now 30-year-old striker has scored 23 goals in 43 games for the Norwegian giants.

Bendtner’s form also saw him earn a Danish national team recall, scoring in the play-off triumph v the Republic of Ireland.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Last week Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan tried to lure him to the Far East, as reported by TV2 in Norway. However, despite the money on offer, Bendtner made it clear he wanted to remain where he is.

It highlighted a level of maturity from the Dane that has not been seen before. Bendtner put his footballing integrity ahead of financial gain. On the day he could have been securing a money-spinning move, to play alongside Cedric Bakambu and Renato Augusto, he scored twice in a friendly win over Dinamo Brest in the bitter cold.

Nottingham Forest, in all of this, seem unlucky. Bendtner’s attitude at the City Ground had appeared to have changed but fitness concerns prevented him from showcasing his best. Since the switch to Norway he has remained fit with the goals flowing as a consequence.

If only Forest had such a potent finisher in their ranks right now.

Championship

Nottingham Forest will struggle to better Tobias Figueiredo deal this summer

The Portuguese talent has been a revelation at Nottingham Forest.

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Nottingham Forest ended their recent goal drought at the weekend. The current team managed to break the club record for minutes without scoring before Ben Brereton netted from the spot and Joe Lolley fired home to give Forest a hard-fought win against Ipswich Town.

That result secures Championship football at the City Ground next season and Forest can begin to plan for next term. Whilst Forest have certainly struggled to score goals since Aitor Karanka arrived at the club, the Spaniard has made massive improvements to the side defensively.

The Forest defence, once leaky, has been plugged up and now pride themselves on their 2018 record.

(Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

One key reason for that successful turnaround has been the form of Portuguese defender Tobias Figueiredo. Signed on loan from Sporting Lisbon in January he has become a regular at the heart of the defence for Forest.

Now, it appears that his stay at Forest will become permanent. According to a report from Record, Forest had a deal in place to sign the Portugal under-21 international if he played 11 games for the club. The clash with Ipswich was that game and Forest will now pay €2.3 million (£2 million) for his services this summer.

(Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)

Forest will be hard pushed to conduct any better business throughout the entire summer. Figueiredo has been one of the main reasons for the improved defensive performances from Forest since the turn of the year.

Keeping him at the club will be vital if Forest are to build on that, find some goals, and push further up the table next season. Ensuring such a clause was in place was, therefore, a wise move from Forest and those involved deserve credit for making sure Figueiredo will remain a Forest player next season.

Hopefully, he can continue to perform at such a high level and take Forest up the league table.

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Championship

Nottingham Forest loanee Thomas Lam struggling with FC Twente

The Finland international has been struggling in the Netherlands.

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Once again it has been a season to forget for Nottingham Forest fans. The Reds have stumbled their way through the Championship campaign, once again changing managers. Mark Warburton was replaced by Aitor Karanka and whilst there has perhaps been a slight improvement, most Forest fans are looking forward to next season.

The continuing revolving door of team personnel has also not helped with consistency at the club. Karanka brought in a slew of players in January whilst Warburton did his best to cut out plenty of the Philippe Montanier and Dougie Freedman additions in the summer.

One of those players was Thomas Lam.

(xxxx during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on October 1, 2016 in Bristol, England.

The Finland international, who can play in both central defence or midfield, started his Nottingham Forest career brightly. On his debut against Burton, he scored in a 4-3 win before finding the net in an identical result against Wigan Athletic in his second appearance.

But, soon enough, Lam was out of contention. He did not play for Nottingham Forest after February 2015 and the former PEC Zwolle man was expected to return to the Netherlands.

The Finn did make a move back to the Eredivisie. He joined FC Twente on loan until the end of the season. The Tukkers were hoping to push for European places once again, after years of financial troubles.

However, that has not proved the case. This weekend, following a 2-1 defeat against ADO Den Haag, Twente look doomed to relegation.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The Reds are bottom of the Eredivisie on just 20 points, ten away from safety. At the moment, their best bet is to catch either Sparta Rotterdam or Roda JC, who currently occupy two of the relegation play-off places ahead of them.

It would represent a massive fall from grace for the Enschede side. In 2010 they shocked the nation by winning the title, managed by former Nottingham Forest boss Steve McClaren.

Now, just eight years on, it appears they are heading back to the Dutch second tier for the first time since 1984.

Lam, who has featured 26 times for the club this season, will not have caught the eye of his employers at Nottingham Forest with such an abject campaign.

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League Two

Notts County ready to move for former Premier League midfielder Joey Barton

The 35-year-old could be set to link up with ex-Newcastle United teammate Kevin Nolan.

Jake Jackman

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Joey Barton
Photo: Getty Images

Notts County are heading in the right direction under Kevin Nolan and are one of the teams competing for promotion at the top of League Two.

That would represent a great season for the Magpies and it appears that their manager has the ambition to push them on further over the coming years.

The former Premier League player is keen to use his connections to bring in some quality and experience, with Joey Barton being one of the names linked.

The two men played together at Newcastle United and were part of the team that won promotion back to the Premier League in 2010.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio Nottingham, Nolan said the following when asked about Barton:

“Me and Joey are good friends. He is a top player, a top lad and I really get on well with him. We will always be in touch so let’s see what happens.”

“Joey is probably going to want to play at a higher level. And if that doesn’t come to fruition then I am sure there will be a conversation in the summer.

Although Nolan admits that he is unlikely to land his former team-mate, it shows his value to Notts County in the transfer market.

His presence at the club makes it possible to target quality players that have played at the top of the English game.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Since he arrived at Meadow Lane, he has used his Newcastle connections to sign Shola Ameobi and the striker has been a good player for the club

However, it would be an even bigger coup to land Barton, who was last seen playing in the Premier League for Burnley last season.

A lengthy ban from football due to gambling meant that the midfielder hasn’t been able to play this season, but at the age of 35, he still has something to offer the game.

Before his ban, he was a key player for Burnley and played 14 times in the Premier League after re-joining the club in January 2017.

It was a huge shame for Barton that he received a ban, as he was beginning to thrive at the highest level again.

The time away from football will have an effect on him, but he will be determined to finish his eventful career on a high.

It would be somewhat interesting if Barton did sign for Notts County this summer, as he came close to joining their local rivals a few years ago.

Reports in the Mirror, in 2015, suggested the midfielder wanted to join Nottingham Forest after he left Queens Park Rangers, but a move didn’t come to fruition.

Now, he could be offered the opportunity to play in the city, albeit for the side lower down the Football League.

At the time of writing, Notts County are in the play-off positions in League Two and they have a good chance of winning promotion this season.

Their chances of signing Barton will increase if they do go up a division, but his relationship with Nolan means they will be in the races regardless of promotion.

It could be that Barton is motivated by a project rather than money or exposure and the opportunity to join Notts County could be an appealing one.

He would get the opportunity to work with one of his good friends in the game and his ability would allow him to stand out at that level.

Supporters shouldn’t be getting excited about the rumoured signing yet, as it is only speculation at this point, but it is encouraging that Nolan has declared his interest on the record.

Barton may be a controversial figure, but he has won promotion on three occasions during his career and his experience would be invaluable to an ambitious club like Notts County.

If they manage to get this done, it would be one of the eye-catching transfers of the summer.

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