Nottingham Forest recruited several new players during the summer and after 12 games of the new campaign boss Aitor Karanka is now starting to grasp what his first choice eleven is going to be.
The Reds’s squad has been bolstered with the arrival of 17 new players since the end of last season, whilst several players have departed the City Ground to make way for the new signings.
One man who didn’t manage to secure a move away from Forest is goalkeeper Jordan Smith, with the academy graduate now way down the pecking order behind Costel Pantilimon and Luke Steele.
Smith was handed his Forest debut in February 2017 amid something of a goalkeeping crisis at the City Ground and performed admirably at a time when the Reds were fighting to stave off relegation to League One.
Having maintained their Championship status, Smith was then handed the chance to start last season as the number one goalkeeper under Mark Warburton’s management, much to the delight of the Forest faithful who revel in the fact that the club is willing to hand first-team opportunities to academy prospects.
Some sporadic form, however, led to Smith being dropped from the squad completely when Karanka arrived in January and with the club signing two new stoppers in the summer it seemed for some time like he could be heading for the exit.
The 23-year-old didn’t enhance his chances of forcing his way into the boss’ plans when he was handed a start against Bury in the EFL Cup back in August. Smith flapped at an early cross which led Forest going behind and was then sent off prior to the interval, capping a nightmare evening for the goalkeeper.
January seems like the perfect time for Smith to go out and play some much needed first-team football. On his day he is a fine stopper but right now his development has stalled due to a lack of game time.
Smith needs to work on the minor aspects which all top stoppers excel at and attributes such as distribution and commanding the penalty box will only be honed properly if he is playing regular football.