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.
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.
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.
Wolves signing Miguel Veloso would reunite him with long-time partner Joao Moutinho
The Portuguese pair formed a formidable partnership for both club and country and could potentially do similar at Wolves.
Wolves are being linked with a move for free agent midfielder Miguel Veloso. TEAMtalk are suggesting that the newly-promoted side are looking to add the 56-cap Portugal international to their fold this week. He is a free agent having left Genoa and Everton are reportedly also keen.
It would be an interesting signing for Wolves and one which, on paper, certainly makes sense. Veloso is represented by the Jorge Mendes ran Gestifute company. He is also a player with an illustrious record, winning titles with Sporting and Dynamo Kiev.
At Sporting he was considered one of Portugal’s most promising young talents. He was not alone in that respect. He came through to the first-team picture in Lisbon at the same time as another central midfielder, one Wolves fans will know very well.
Both Veloso and Joao Moutinho came through at Sporting in 2005. The pair went on to form a formidable partnership in the heart of Sporting’s midfield for the next five years. In 2010, both men left. Veloso headed to Kiev, whilst Moutinho made a controversial switch to Porto.
Moutinho went on to establish a reputation as one of the more consistent central midfielders in Europe.
So this summer, when Wolves signed him for a bargain fee of just £5 million, it was an eye-catching piece of business.
If they could also secure Veloso, the pair might be able to rekindle some of their old magic at Molineux.
Bielsa’s Engine Room: Kalvin Phillips continues to thrive in new Leeds role
The 22-year-old came through the Elland Road academy system.
After Marco Bielsa’s Leeds United continued their impressing winning start to the season this weekend, recording a 2-1 victory over Rotherham, several players are being highlighted for praise.
Among those who deserve the majority share of the plaudits is 22-year-old Kalvin Phillips, who continues to thrive in the playing style implemented by the club’s new boss.
A player capable of keeping it simple at the base of the midfield, Phillips has proven to be astute defensively and comfortable in possession – key traits for a player to thrive in the Argentine’s system.
Against Rotherham on Saturday, he registered 112 touches, more than any other player on the pitch and a personal best for the club.
He also completed the most passes on the day (88), recorded more interceptions than anyone else (six) and created two chances, one of which went down as an assist.
Rotherham marked a third exceptional Championship performance of the season for the youngster, with his movement and distribution keeping the ball ticking over in central midfield.
The academy talent is proving himself to be a force in central midfield for the Whites, quickly establishing himself as the lynchpin of the Bielsa revolution at Elland Road.
If Phillips can maintain this level of performance he will be integral in the club’s promotion push throughout the remainder of the season.
One to Watch: Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish at his creative best vs Ipswich
The Villa youngster was exceptional again this weekend.
Jack Grealish again proved why he is Aston Villa’s most important player in their attempt to gain promotion back to the Premier League with an excellent performance in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday.
The 22-year-old’s wonderful display was underpinned by the 28 passes he completed in the final third – which, according to WhoScored was more than any other player had managed in a single Championship game thus far this season.
Grealish also completed five key passes in the game, bringing his season total to 11 – more than any other player in the league other than Norwich’s Ben Marshall (also 11).
Furthermore, the Englishman completed five of his six dribbles in the game.
Steve Bruce spoke glowingly of Grealish this week on TalkSport.
“He’s arguably the best young player I’ve had in terms of ability. He can do something where he can lift you off your seat, he’s such a natural footballer and of course he’s grown up a bit,” the Aston Villa manager said.
“For me, he’s going to be a top, top player.”
It is hard not to agree with Bruce. Not only does it appear as though Grealish has matured greatly in the last 12 months, his performances since the turn of the year have been astounding – he has arguably been the division’s best player in that period.
His constant menacing against Ipswich was no different – he has started this season brightly.
If he can manage to help guide Villa to the Premier League, he may be there for the long-term.
Exclusive: George Williams on his Fulham spell, Euro 2016 and two year ambition
We caught up with the former MK Dons and Fulham prospect, now plying his trade for Forest Green.
Exclusive: Christian Doidge discusses new season, career highlights and transfer speculation
The Forest Green Rovers striker spoke to The Boot Room ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Exclusive: Cardiff City’s Joe Bennett discusses his new contract; promotion and new signings
The full-back spoke exclusively to The Boot Room as he looks ahead to the Bluebird's top flight return.
Liverpool15 hours ago
Three selection headaches for Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Brighton
Everton7 hours ago
Everton round-up: Bolasie hijacked, Williams to Bolton and Mina deals emerge
Brighton and Hove Albion14 hours ago
Brighton favourite Uwe Hunemeier scores rare double for new side Paderborn
Everton14 hours ago
Free agent target Miguel Veloso has twice outclassed Everton in Europa League thrashings
Leeds United16 hours ago
Leeds fans are right to get excited as Bielsa seeks Bahlouli reunion
English Premier League17 hours ago
Reece Oxford can be the answer to West Ham’s woes
Celtic7 hours ago
One year since £800k Celtic transfer collapsed, Rivaldo Coetzee still hasn’t played
Championship6 hours ago
Andrea Radrizzani drops hints on ambitious Leeds United plans