On Monday morning, 35-year-old midfielder Steve Sidwell announced he was leaving Brighton and Hove Albion this summer after an injury-hit season.
The experienced central midfielder, who most recently led the Seagulls to promotion in 2016/17, would be a superb signing for Nottingham Forest and would add steel to Aitor Karanka’s midfield.
Sidwell still has much to offer English football and would immediately boost Forest’s chances of promotion.
The central midfielder starred on the South Coast during Brighton’s dominant second-placed finish, playing 34 times and scoring a spectacular long-range goal along the way.
The midfielder was also a vital part of one of the best Championship sides in recent memory, playing 33 times and scoring ten goals for the title winners Reading in 2005/06.
But it is not Sidwell’s goalscoring prowess that should excite Forest supporters, but rather his knowledge of what it takes to gain promotion and marshall a Championship side to the top flight.
Furthermore, the Englishman dedicates his all to whatever club he plays for- a massive asset for any team.
If the Reds can sign Newcastle loanee Jack Colback on a permanent deal this summer, a fearsome midfield partnership between Colback and Sidwell would be formed.
With two brilliantly aggressive, bright, and dedicated players in the centre of the park, Forest would be perfectly primed for a promotion push.
There has been speculation that perhaps Sidwell’s Brighton exit marks his retirement from football, but the 35-year-old need not hang up his boots just yet.
A move to the City Ground would be the ideal way to close out his decorated career and complete his hat-trick of Premier League promotions.
One winner, one loser from Nottingham Forest’s draw with Wigan
Hillal Soudani’s late, late goal handed Forest parity from an entertaining encounter.
Nottingham Forest struck late in the day to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2018/19 campaign with a dogged 2-2 draw against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
Youngster Matty Cash cancelled out Nick Powell’s opener inside the first 10 minutes, before Will Grigg scored from the penalty spot to give the home side a slender advantage at the break.
It had looked like the Wigan man’s strike would be the winner, until Reds’ sub Hillal Soudani climbed off the bench to tuck away the rebound from Lewis Grabban’s missed penalty right at the death, handing Forest a share of the spoils.
After an entertaining Championship affair, The Boot Room looked at one winner and one loser from a Nottingham Forest perspective…
Winner – Matty Cash
The Nottingham Forest academy graduate was rewarded for an impressive display against Bury in the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening with a place in Aitor Karanka’s starting line-up for the trip to Wigan and he didn’t disappoint.
Cash certainly doesn’t lack confidence and he backed up his manager’s decision to include him in the starting eleven with a neatly taken equalising goal after Forest had fallen behind early doors, whilst the 21-year-old also won the visitors’ their penalty deep into stoppage time at the end of the second-half.
With the Reds now boasting a plethora of talent within their ranks it is vital that any player who is given a chance in the team takes it with aplomb, and Cash certainly didn’t do his chances of retaining his place any harm with this performance.
Loser – Lewis Grabban
You simply have to feel for Forest’s new £6 million striker. Although his performances in the first four games have demonstrated his ability to work hard and get into the right areas, the bottom line is that he has yet to net for his new club.
When Forest were handed a stoppage time penalty it was Grabban who stepped-up to try and salvage a point for the Reds, yet his spot-kick was met with a strong right hand from Wigan goalkeeper Christian Walton.
Perhaps rubbing more salt in the wounds for the Reds’ striker was the fact that it was Hillal Soudani, one of several players vying for a starting place in Forest’s attack, who pounced to tuck away the rebound following Grabban’s misfortune.
There clearly isn’t a need to panic for the 30-year-old just yet, but there is a real sense that the ex-Bournemouth man missed a real chance to net his first goal for the Reds on Saturday.
Nottingham Forest fans react to Matty Cash’s display vs Wigan
Karanka handed the 21-year-old a start following his fine performance against Bury.
Nottingham Forest fought back twice to claim a 2-2 draw away at Wigan Athletic to remain unbeaten in the EFL Championship this season and it was Matty Cash who caught the eye with a fine display.
The 21-year-old scored for the second game running and turned in a particularly eye-catching display after replacing Gil Dias in the starting line-up from the team which beat Reading at the City Ground last weekend.
Cash is fast becoming a real fan favourite on the banks of the River Trent and his all-action display helped earn Forest a share of the spoils from an otherwise disappointing performance at the DW Stadium.
The right-winger cancelled out Nick Powell’s opener after 10 minutes, before showing superb determination to win the Reds a penalty deep into stoppage time at the end of the second period.
Forest fans are sticklers for seeing their own academy products play first-team football for the Reds and Cash is a prime example of a player who has worked hard at becoming consistent in a position that was previously unfamiliar.
With Forest now possessing a high quota of attacking talent it is vital that players take their chances when they come their way and on Saturday’s performance, Cash’s inclusion in the team against Birmingham City next week isn’t open for debate.
The Boot Room took a look at how Forest fans portrayed Cash’s performance following the 2-2 draw in Greater Manchester…
— Matty Cash (@mattycash622) August 18, 2018
My bro ? ???
— Hillal Soudani (@Hillal_Soudani) August 18, 2018
Outstanding young man
— Paul Jennings (@jenningsps) August 18, 2018
Played well matty! For the whole game not just the last 10 mins like everyone else!
— ????? (@Bvsnffcsg01) August 18, 2018
Man of the match @mattycash622
— Matt Legg (@MattLegg42) August 18, 2018
Delighted for you ? thank you! #ThatLovingFeeling ?
— Nicola Louise Taylor (@NicolaLouiseTa1) August 18, 2018
You were 100% again today. No matter what result we pull out as long as the lads give it all and you and soudani today did just that once again ???
— @1tommywallis (@1tommywallis1) August 18, 2018
Best player on pitch well done!
— Jason (@jasonkelly847) August 18, 2018
— Steve Mitchell (@stevemitch82) August 18, 2018
Showed the gaffer your quality. Looking forward to many more starts this season.
— glitchedgardens (@glitchedgardens) August 18, 2018
— Jim Beckett (@jmjbecks) August 18, 2018
Nottingham Forest must loan out academy graduate Joe Worrall
The Reds have a proud history of nurturing players from their own academy.
Nottingham Forest have made a solid start to the 2018/19 campaign with the Reds winning one and drawing two of their first three matches, playing some eye-catching football in the process.
Having spent heavily in the summer it looks as though the club’s hierarchy have tasked boss Aitor Karanka with making a genuine attempt at reaching the Premier League for the first time in over 20 years.
Given the amount of money spent it does seem as though some of last year’s players might be nothing more than fringe operatives this season and that could see many of the players deemed surplus sent out on loan before the end of the month. .
One man who could fall foul of Forest’s recruitment drive is academy graduate Joe Worrall, with the youngster failing to make any of Karanka’s squads so far this season after recovering from a knee problem which saw him miss the back end of last season.
The 21-year-old has played just over 50 times for the Reds since making his debut in October 2016 in an away game against Reading and there has been enough from his performances to suggest that he can become a regular in the Forest team at some stage.
After his latest injury setback, however, it is vitally important that Worrall gets some games under his belt and after Forest signed Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueriredo and Michael Hefele during the summer, it seems extremely unlikely that the prospect will be featuring for the first-team any time soon and it might be in the club’s best interests to sort Worrall out with a club where he will play more games.
In previous years, Forest haven’t been blessed with the plethora of talent that they have within their ranks now and that perhaps means that some of the club’s very own products might have to wait for more first-team chances, particularly over the course of this season.
Worrall has the ability to definitely be seen as one for the future at the City Ground, but a loan spell does seem like the best option for his development, at least for the 2018/19 campaign.
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.
Everton20 hours ago
Cenk Tosun is an excellent leaving gift for Everton from Sam Allardyce
Cardiff City16 hours ago
Premier League Team of the Week II: Featuring Manchester City and Chelsea favourites
Newcastle United15 hours ago
Newcastle United summer transfer failure Alassane Pleaa scores hat-trick in 11-1 debut win
Rangers19 hours ago
Three ins and outs Rangers could complete this week
Manchester City9 hours ago
Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy can break 15-year Premier League assist record
Celtic19 hours ago
Three ins and outs Celtic could complete this week
Wolverhampton Wanderers19 hours ago
Andre Silva shows Wolves what they are missing with hat-trick on Sevilla debut
Leeds United20 hours ago
Victor Orta Leeds United target Alex Gallar scores twice on La Liga debut