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Nottingham Forest

Aitor Karanka should target reunion with Julien De Sart

The Belgian could be a great signing for Nottingham Forest.

Mathew Nash

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It seems as though Belgian midfielder Julien De Sart will be looking for a new club this summer. He finds himself in a state of limbo after a season on loan at Zulte Waregem from Middlesbrough.

Despite being a regular for the Essevee he will not be making a permanent move to the club. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the club will not be prioritising his €700,000 (£612,000) permanent deal agreed with Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old will now return to the Riverside, where it appears he has no long-term future.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

But should his former boss bring him to Nottingham Forest?

Aitor Karanka was the manager at Boro when De Sart was snapped up from Standard Liege back in 2016 and was considered one for the future on Teesside.

Now, the former Belgium under-21 international needs to find a new home and a reunion with Karanka at the City Ground could be a perfect move.

The central-midfielder would be a welcome addition for Forest, who need to strengthen across the park following another mediocre season.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

De Sart has impressed in the East Midlands before. He was finally showing what he could do during a loan spell with Derby County in 2017. Unfortunately, a change of manager saw him drop out of the side under Gary Rowett.

Forest, however, could offer him a second chance in the Championship and it would give Karanka a chance to properly work with a player he clearly rated just a couple of seasons ago.

He would be a cheap and known transfer option for the Nottingham Forest first-team squad. He would also arrive with a point to prove to his old boss Karanka and the manager at bitter rivals Derby, something Forest fans will certainly appreciate.

It would be an under-the-radar signing, but one which could act some genuine quality to the Forest midfield ahead of the new season.

Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest should consider loaning out Liam Bridcutt this month

The Scottish midfielder has struggled to find his feet under Aitor Karanka.

Mathew Nash

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Nottingham Forest take on Bury in the League Cup this evening, in a game which will likely see some fringe players get a chance. One of those players who will be hoping for a recall will be Liam Bridcutt.

When Nottingham Forest signed the former Leeds United captain last summer it looked a coup. A favourite of Garry Monk’s, new manager Thomas Christiansen was not so keen. Therefore, Forest got him for a reported £1 million. It appeared a bargain for a top Championship midfielder.

(Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Liam Bridcutt

However, Bridcutt currently finds himself down the pecking order at the City Ground. He played just 24 times last season, with new manager Aitor Karanka not as keen on his talents as predecessor Mark Warburton.

This term, with the likes of Jack Colback, Ben Watson, Adlene Guedioura and Matty Cash ahead of him in the pecking order, Bridcutt has not yet featured at all.

One of the highest earners at the City Ground, Forest must surely be considering sending him out on loan before the end of August. He is contributing very little at the moment and with young Ryan Yates waiting in the wings, it might be time to move Bridcutt on.

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Nottingham Forest

One to Watch: Nottingham Forest’s Ben Brereton should start vs Bury

The talented teenager burst onto the scene in 2017.

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Brereton
Photo: Getty Images

Nottingham Forest striker Ben Brereton was the subject of a late bid from Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers on transfer deadline day, according to the Nottingham Post, but the Reds stood firm and the 19-year-old remains, for now, a Forest player.

The consensus among the Forest faithful is that the talented striker is a player worth much more than the £5 million that Rovers were offering, given that he has graduated through the club’s academy, having been nurtured by the club, and based on how much potential he still has to fulfil.

It does ask the question, however, of just how much football Brereton will play for his current club and would a temporary stint away from the City Ground be good for his development?

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The youngster is yet to make one of Aitor Karanka’s matchday squads this season, although he could get the chance to shine when Forest take on League Two outfit Bury in the League Cup on Tuesday evening.

Since making his debut in 2017 Brereton has netted eight goals in 53 appearances and although his game is about much more than scoring goals, that statistic suggests that his development could be best served out on loan for the 2018/19 campaign.

Forest boss Karanka tends to only play one striker and given his first three squads it would appear that Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy are the two players currently vying for a place in attack, something which leaves Brereton on the fringes of the first-team.

Brereton performed tirelessly last season when Forest didn’t boast such an array of attacking influx and for that he deserves credit. The harsh reality now, however, is that he just doesn’t have the same ability as other players who can play in similar positions.

The game against Bury should give the academy graduate the chance to show his manager just what he is capable of, but it is more likely to show potential suitors exactly what he could bring to their club as they compete to take him on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Any potential deal that see Brereton leave the club temporarily should be done so with a meticulous mindset. It would be completely pointless to loan him out to a club that is going to leave him on the bench and further harm his progress.

It also vital that Forest don’t include any deal that involves the club to buy him permanently as there is enough to suggest that Brereton can still have a future at the City Ground, and given his age he could be worth a whole lot more than the fees currently being brandished around.

At this stage the notion of a loan spell is somewhat speculative, but the fundamental factor is that Brereton needs to play and it seems pretty conclusive that he won’t deal that a great deal over the next few months on Trentside.

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Three things Nottingham Forest fans learnt from victory over Reading

The Reds had caught the eye with an attractive brand of football in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.

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Photo: Getty Images

Sky Bet Championship outfit Nottingham Forest recorded their first victory of the 2018/19 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Reading at the City Ground on Saturday.

The Reds tasted victory for the first time this season thanks to a second-half strike from summer signing Hillal Soudani, who stepped off the bench to show Aitor Karanka – and the adoring Forest faithful – exactly what he is capable of.

It had been a somewhat disjointed performance from the Reds before the Algerian curled an unstoppable effort beyond Vito Mannone in the Royals’ goal with just 22 minutes remaining on the clock.

Karanka’s men were left frustrated with a dogged game plan from Paul Clement’s side and for a long period of the game it had looked like being a third consecutive share of the spoils for the East Midlands-based club.

With the Reds having spent heavily on the squad this season it is definitely apparent that promotion is the ultimate goal from this campaign and this maiden victory will give a new-look squad a massive boost of confidence.

The Boot Room looked at three things learnt about Nottingham Forest from their 1-0 win over Reading.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

Danny Fox is integral

According to Who Scored, the Nottingham Forest central defender and captain for the afternoon won 11 headers against Reading in a vastly dominant display.

It is a remarkable turnaround for the 32-year-old who only a few years ago was deemed a weak link in the Forest side, with some fans deeming him the scapegoat for some underwhelming form.

Forest have recruited several new defenders this summer with Michael Dawson, Jack Robinson and Micheal Hefele all arriving at the City Ground. On current form, however, each of the new boys have a real job on getting in the starting line-up, such has been the form of a rejuvenated Fox.

Competition for places is as good as ever

In recent years Forest have found themselves short of a squad that is remotely capable of challenging for anything in the higher echelons of the Championship table, but thankfully that looks like being a thing of the past under Aitor Karanka.

With the arrival of Sam Byram into the squad, the Reds now boast two solid players capable of performing in the Championship and it could be the quality of the personnel in their squad that gives them the edge on their rivals this season.

Hillal Soudani and Matty Cash entered the fray on 56 minutes and just 12 minutes later the two had combined to edge Forest in front and ease the frustration that was building around the City Ground.

Karanka now boasts one of the best squads in the second tier at his disposal and the challenge for him will be to ensure that morale remains high among the crop of players not featuring on a frequent basis.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

Newcastle midfielder is a stunning loan signing

Some people questioned Aitor Karanka in the summer when he opted to bring back Jack Colback for a second loan spell after he impressed during last season, with certain fans wondering whether Forest really needed him.

On Saturday’s showing the signing of the 28-year-old is a fantastic piece of recruitment from the Reds and he was once again in solid form in the middle of the park alongside the in-form Adlène Guedioura.

According to Who Scored, Colback boasted a successful pass completion rate of 87% and with him in the side it seems as though Forest will be capable of winning more games than not.

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