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.
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.
As Tim Erlandsson joins Salford City on loan is his Nottingham Forest career over?
The Swedish stopper is out of contract at Nottingham Forest this summer.
Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Tim Erlandsson has found himself heading out on loan once again this week.
It has been confirmed that the Swedish stopper has made a move to join the Northern League side, famous for being part-owned by several former Manchester United players.
He arrives as the club’s current number one is heading away on international duty with New Zealand. Max Crocombe will be unavailable for two matches this month and Erlandsson will provide cover.
But does the Swede have a chance of making it at Forest in the long-run?
The 21-year-old joined Forest in 2014 from Halmstads in his homeland. The Swedish under-21 international looked a hot prospect when he arrived at the City Ground. However, it is looking increasingly likely that he will not be making it at Forest.
This season he spent time on loan at Swedish side AFC Eskilstuna. The newly promoted Allsvenskan side did not thrive in his command. They finished bottom of the Swedish league, conceding a grand total of 55 goals in 30 games.
For Erlandsson it was a brutal learning curve.
Now he is back at Forest but finds himself in a long queue of goalkeepers. Jordan Smith started the season as the club’s number one.
Forest, however, snapped up both Costel Pantilimon and Stefanos Kapino in January. If Pantilimon’s deal is made permanent in the summer, it would leave Erlandsson way down the pecking order at the City Ground.
With his contract expiring in the summer the Swedish star will not be short of offers come July. As an under-21 international, who also attended the Olympics with Sweden in the summer, his name will be on the radar for plenty of interested parties.
The move to Salford City may be the last big news regarding Erlandsson whilst he is still a Nottingham Forest owned player.
Nottingham Forest must trim the fat to move on this summer
Nottingham Forest must move on their older players this summer.
Nottingham Forest appear to be safe in the Championship but once again it has been a season mostly defined by mediocrity. Aitor Karanka replaced Mark Warburton earlier in the campaign but dramatic change has not happened.
Whilst Nottingham Forest are seemingly pleased with the changes made under Karanka, this summer an overhaul is needed.
One way Nottingham Forest should start this change is to trim the dead weight from the club.
This summer the likes of Danny Fox, David Vaughan, Chris Cohen and Jack Hobbs are all out of contract at the City Ground.
These four players should also be joined by two others.
Michael Mancienne and Eric Lichaj are players who define the mid-table Nottingham Forest side who have failed to achieve over the past five years.
Lichaj and Fox are currently both still regulars in the first-team set-up, while Vaughan has barely place since the turn of the year.
Nottingham Forest need to start building from scratch and this summer they should be allowed to leave.
Just like Cohen and Hobbs, the three players in question linger around at Nottingham Forest, like ghosts of an unwanted past tainted by failure and misadventure.
Cohen and Hobbs, whose injury records have defined their recent careers, will not be missed on the pitch.
If Nottingham Forest are to escape the shackles of their mediocre past they need to do so from afresh.
Most of these six players are still more than capable of doing a job at Nottingham Forest. It is not necessarily a decision based on footballing talent, but it is a signifier.
Forest are moving on to something new and to do so, the past has to be left in the past.
Getting rid of this sextet of players would be the first step toward building a brighter Nottingham Forest under Karanka’s guidance.
Nottingham Forest must do whatever necessary to secure Tobias Figueiredo stay
The Portuguese talent has been superb since completing a loan move to the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest completed an interesting signing in January, with the recruitment of Portuguese defender Tobias Figueiredo from Sporting Lisbon. The 24-year-old, who featured for Portugal at the Olympics last summer, is obviously talented.
But could he cut it in the physical world of Championship football?
So far the answer is a resounding yes.
Figueiredo has been in fine form for Nottingham Forest lately. The Portugal star played a pivotal role in Aitor Karanka’s men keeping clean sheets against Derby County and Norwich in their last two outings.
Now, it is being reported that Nottingham Forest have a deal in place to sign Figueiredo permanently. According to A Bola the defender cost Forest a loan fee of €200,000 (£177,000) in January. The deal which saw him join Nottingham Forest also included a buying clause of €2.3 million (£2 million). A Bola now reports that the clause is a mandatory one, should Figueiredo play a certain amount of games for Forest this season.
The report does not disclose how many games it is the 24-year-old needs to play for Nottingham Forest’s obligation to be activated. It is safe to assume the number is likely to be a round figure. Usually such agreements involve 10 or 15 games being played before a deal becomes permanent in the summer.
So far Figueiredo has played just six times for Nottingham Forest. Based on the evidence of those displays Forest must hope that he reaches the amount necessary to earn the permanent move.
At just £2 million the Portuguese defender looks an absolute steal based on his current form. First of all he is versatile, capable at both centre-back and left-back. At just 24-years-old Figueiredo could easily become the long-term centre-back partner for homegrown defender Joe Worrall.
Nottingham Forest and Karanka must ensure they do what is necessary to tie down Figueiredo to a long-term stay at the City Ground. If they do not, then plenty of other Championship teams will be sniffing around to punish their mistake.
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