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Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest fans must wonder ‘what if’ as Armand Traore wins international call-up

The left-back has found his way back in to the Senegal national team.

Mathew Coull

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Armand Traore has been in fine form since joining Cardiff City in January. Considered surplus to requirements at Nottingham Forest, there was some shock when the promotion-chasing Welsh side made a move for the player. But it has proven to be a hit. Traore has been in fine form since joining the Bluebirds and even scored his first goal since 2014 recently.

Such good form has caught the eye at international level. Traore has received a call-up to the Senegal national team for the upcoming friendly fixture with Bosnia Herzegovina this month. The last time Traore received a call-up for his country was in March 2013, five whole years ago.

Now he will have one eye on the World Cup in Russia this summer. For Nottingham Forest fans it must come as a sickener.

The defender was a divisive figure at the City Ground. His attitude and commitment were often called into question. It looked at one point like he would be released from his Forest contract.

Instead, he has headed out on loan and done what Forest fans knew he was capable of, performed well.

The French-born star is not short of talent. His years at the Arsenal academy show just how highly rated he is in the game.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But Forest fans, and seemingly management, never felt he was giving his all at the City Ground.

Now he is being managed by Neil Warnock at Cardiff, who is giving him the freedom to perform as he likes. The result is Cardiff pushing for promotion and Traore in line for a world Cup berth.

Nottingham Forest won’t be too sad to see Traore gone. But they will wonder how they never got the best out of such a talented, but difficult individual.

Nottingham Forest

Evangelos Marinakis must dig deep and sanction £6.5m Jack Marriott deal

Nottingham Forest are one of several teams keen on the Peterborough United star.

Mathew Coull

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Peterborough United have reportedly made their asking price for striker Jack Marriott known. The Sun report that the League One club are looking for a fee in the region of £6.5 million for the player this summer.

The report also highlights the long list of clubs linked with his signature. The likes of Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa are all mentioned as having an interest in the striker.

The other team mentioned are Championship side Nottingham Forest. Aitor Karanka will be looking to bring in some new faces this summer to help Forest find their way back up the Championship pecking order.

The club’s owner Evangelos Marinakis must find a way to fund this deal in any which way he can.

Marriott had a brilliant season last term, scoring 33 goals as the Posh missed out on the play-offs. Such goalscoring antics are exactly what Forest need next term.

Under Karanka the Reds found themselves particularly goal-shy. In their final 10 games of the season, they managed to not find the back of the net in six of those matches, including five goalless games in a row.

(during the The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Aston Villa and Peterborough United at Villa Park on January 6, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

The fact is, their current striking options are not good enough. Last summer’s big recruits were Jason Cummings and Darryl Murphy, both failed to live up to their reputations at the City Ground. Apostolos Vellios could leave this summer and youngster Ben Brereton is still learning.

Forest need an all-action goalscorer if they are to find their way out of the Championship next season.

Marriott is exactly that. Of course, he would need to quickly adapt to playing in a league above his but anyone who has seen Marriott play this season will back him to do so, such is his obvious talent.

Forest must make sure they win the race for the young man. His arrival could be a catalyst for a more free-scoring Forest next season. If that did become the case, then £6.5 million will be a bargain.

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Nottingham Forest

Aitor Karanka comments on Premier League trio should cheer Nottingham Forest supporters

Max Cohen

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Karanka
Photo: Getty Images

Costel Pantilimon, Jack Colback, and Lee Tomlin all spent the second half of the season on loan at Nottingham Forest, yet have returned to their Premier League parent clubs this summer.

Forest manager Aitor Karanka struck a hopeful tone when discussing the loan trio’s futures this week, with comments that should cheer the City Ground faithful.

In an interview with the Nottingham Post, the Spaniard confirmed that the club was interested in signing all three on a permanent basis. Crucially, the players also appear eager to remain at the City Ground, according to Karanka:

“The main thing for me is that all of them left at the end of the season, all wanting to come back here,”  the Forest boss told the Nottingham Post. “It means that they felt really good here; they felt the atmosphere in the changing room and confident on the pitch.”

The news will surely come as a relief to Nottingham Forest supporters, as the contributions of the Premier League loan trio were impressive and added top-flight quality to the Championship side.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Tomlin joined from Cardiff in January and scored four goals and assisted three in just 12 starts for Forest, adding to his reputation of scoring stunning strikes.

Another influential January arrival was Colback, who played every single minute in the league for Forest after joining from Newcastle, except for the 3-0 home victory over Barnsley in April.

Watford loanee Pantilimon was another almost ever-present for Nottingham Forest after joining on loan in January, letting in just 14 goals in 13 appearances this season.

Although a personal issue kept him out of the squad for the final four matches of the season, Pantilimon kept four clean sheets and would be a great signing due to his imposing 6’8 frame.

Wages would present an issue, but if Nottingham Forest can sign Tomlin, Colback, and Pantilimon on long-term deals this summer, Aitor Karanka’s squad would receive a massive boost ahead of the 2018/19 season.

A full pre-season with the club would benefit the impressive loanees, and once they are fully integrated at the City Ground, the trio would play a part in Forest’s anticipated top-six push next year.

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Nottingham Forest

Difficult Rangers spell puts Jason Cummings’ Nottingham Forest future in doubt

The 22-year-old made just nine starts at Ibrox.

Josh Kerr

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Jason Cummings
Photo: Getty Images

Jason Cummings’ loan move from Nottingham Forest has come to an end, with the striker returning to his parent club from Rangers. However, his time at Ibrox has failed to give supporters a reason to demand he is kept in Glasgow on a permanent deal.

According to the Scottish Sun, Forest boss Aitor Karanka believes Cummings no longer has a future at the club due to his lack of game time in Scotland. He made just nine starts in all for the Gers, coming off the bench on a further nine occasions in a disappointing loan spell.

The 22-year-old striker arrived at Ibrox with lofty expectations, but he failed to establish himself as a regular in the Gers’ first team and spent more time on the sidelines than he did on the pitch.

The Scotland international netted six goals in total but, despite showing signs of his promising talent, he didn’t demonstrate why new manager Steven Gerrard should acquire his services on a full-time basis.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Cummings was brilliant for Scottish Premier League outfit Hibernian before his move to Forest in the summer of 2017, for a fee, according to the Nottingham Post, to be in the region of £1 million.

Gerrard was brought in to improve on the quality already at the club and, considering the Liverpool legend’s name and reputation, he will feel he can bring in better players than Cummings.

This must now leave the striker worrying about his future with his parent club, who could quite conceivably be tempted to part company with a player who has only scored once in 14 appearances for the two-time European Cup winners.

Once one of Scotland’s most promising strikers, Cummings is facing exile from both of his represented clubs and will be seriously worried as to what the future holds.

Despite struggling to make an impact for the Gers, the two-time Scotland international possesses undeniable talent. If Rangers feel he hasn’t justified a permanent deal, another loan move could bring the best out of the once-promising striker.

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