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Nottingham Forest

Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United all wanted incoming Nottingham Forest star

Nottingham Forest look set to complete a record signing for the Portuguese talent.

Mathew Nash



Back in March last year it looked like the Premier League big boys were all in the hunt for a new signing. The London Evening Standard reported that Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United were all interested in signing the Benfica talent Joao Carvalho.

The young midfielder, considered one of the best talents in Portugal, had just started making his breakthrough for the Benfica first-team and had earned rave reviews for his performances with the Portuguese under-21 side. Considered the natural successor to Joao Moutinho for Portugal, fans in his nation were excited and scouts from across Europe wanted him.

(Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images for UEFA)

Now it looks increasingly likely that he will soon find his way to Nottingham Forest.

In an incredible move, it appears that Forest are set to sign the Portuguese talent in a club record deal. BBC Sport is reporting that the club are now in advanced talks to sign the player in a deal worth around £10 million.

For fans at the City Ground, it is very exciting news. After seeing the way his countryman Ruben Neves turned things around at Wolves last season, the hope is Carvalho can do the same. Working under the guidance of Aitor Karanka, the 21-year-old could easily go on to become a star for the Reds.

Just judging by the list of clubs who have previously tried to lure him in it is clear that Forest have eyed up an absolute gem. Whilst £10 million is a hefty price-tag, it seems they are spending it on the right player.

Nottingham Forest

Two pros and two cons to Nottingham Forest re-signing Lee Tomlin

The 29-year-old proved to be a shrewd piece of business last season.



Lee Tomlin
Photo: Getty Images

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka pulled off a masterstroke last January when he secured the loan signing of Lee Tomlin who arrived until the end of the 2017/18 campaign on loan.

The stocky attacker performed admirably for the Reds during his time with the club and there was real hope from Forest supporters that their boss would bring Tomlin back to the City Ground during the summer.

Karanka has since gone on a spending spree and signed nine new players and unfortunately for Tomlin several of those new additions have come in the way of attacking options, which could hamper his chances of coming back to the East Midlands.

According to the Mirror (16/07/2018 23:09), the ex-Bristol City man is free to depart the Cardiff City Stadium this summer following their promotion to the Premier League, although it does remain to be seen whether Forest are in the running for their former loan star.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Here we look at two pros and two cons to Forest completing a deal which would see the 29-year-old return to Trentside…

Pro – Undoubted quality at Championship level

Tomlin netted four goals and created three assists from his 15 appearances in the red of Forest last season but it was perhaps his overall play which saw him claim more praise from Forest’s supporters.

The Cardiff City man possesses incredible feet and his build-up play is magnificent, making him one of the Championship’s very best creative players on his day, although some inconsistencies are perhaps evident.

There is an argument to suggest that Tomlin would get in most teams at second tier level and if Forest do manage to secure his services it is a move that would undoubtedly add more quality to the squad.

Con – Loan deal more likely

Forest have already secured a couple of summer loan signings and with Sam Byram’s pending arrival from West Ham United also likely to be a loan, it begs the question of where Forest would fit all these temporary players.

Tomlin’s excessive wage at Cardiff City means that a loan deal is far more likely than a permanent deal at this stage and that might not sit well with The Reds’ hierarchy.

Only five loan players can be included in the squad of 18 and it just doesn’t seem likely that Forest will pursue anymore temporary deals – other than Byram – at this stage.

Pro – Affection with the Forest supporters

One thing that Lee Tomlin did do amicably well during his loan spell at the City Ground was build up a rapport with the long-suffering Nottingham Forest faithful.

The Reds’ loyal fan base haven’t had loads to shout about in recent times but Tomlin’s arrival last season felt like the club finally had a player who they could relate to once again and his work rate and desire to succeed really shone through.

Whilst some Forest fans might feel that the team has plenty of players capable of playing in Tomlin’s position, he would surely be welcomed back based on his popularity on the banks of the River Trent.

Con – Not really needed

Forest have spent heavily this summer and in Gil Dias, João Carvalho, Diogo Gonçalves and Hilal Soudani they have added a plethora of players capable of playing in a number of attacking positions on the pitch.

Tomlin’s arrival would feel very much like the Reds were stockpiling players, rather than signing them to actually make a difference when it comes to winning Championship games of football.

Forest already have seven or eight players on their books who are proving difficult to offload and they can ill-afford to have any extra players kicking their heels on the fringes of the first-team.

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Nottingham Forest

Ben Brereton fires timely reminder to Aitor Karanka on international duty

The Nottingham Forest striker scored as England’s youngsters beat Turkey.

Mathew Nash



England defeated Turkey 3-2 in their opening game of the European Championship’s yesterday, with one Nottingham Forest player catching the eye. Ben Brereton raced onto a perfect through ball by Sunderland’s Elliot Embleton to slot home a cool right-footed finish, scoring England’s second goal in the process.

Nottingham Forest are well aware of the 19-year-old’s talents. He burst onto the first-team scene at the City Ground in the winter of 2017. After scoring an injury-time winning goal against Aston Villa, he soon became a fan favourite at Nottingham Forest.

He went on to win the Championship Apprentice of the Year award and hope was high for his first full season at the City Ground.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But, as is to be expected, last season was a struggle for Brereton. He managed just six goals in 39 appearances, with his lack of experience at this level impeding his ability to find the net regularly.

To be fair to Brereton, Forest were not exactly the most creative team last term. Particularly under the guidance of Aitor Karanka, they struggled to score goals.

That has seen the likes of Lewis Grabban and El Arbi Hillel Soudani both signed this summer to bring goals to the Forest attack.

Brereton may, therefore, play less of a role next season and that could be exactly what he needs. The pressure of being the side’s main goalscorer at such a young age could not have helped him in his pursuits last term. With more experienced players ahead and around him it will be no surprise if next season is a far better one for the Forest prodigy.

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Nottingham Forest

The Nottingham Forest starting line-up that could challenge for promotion

Nottingham Forest will undoubtedly be looking to challenge for promotion next season.



Nottingham Forest
Photo: Getty Images

It is safe to say that the Championship is one of the most competitive leagues in world football and that means that prior to the 2018/19 campaign getting underway several teams will be considering their promotion chances.

Nottingham Forest have spent big this summer in an attempt to arrest some mediocre form of recent seasons and make a genuine assault on securing a place among the country’s elite in the Premier League.

Spanish boss Aitor Karanka is the man tasked with reviving the East Midlands-based club and his nine signings so far this summer have gone a long way towards suggesting that he means business during 2018/19.

After years of boardroom mismanagement the Reds are now showcasing a togetherness throughout the club that hasn’t been evident in former years and that is a trait that can only bode well on the pitch, as the club looks to move forwards.

Although it will be a tough task for the Reds to plot a promotion push next season, there is now genuine belief within the camp that the squad possesses enough talent challenge in the higher echelons of the division.

With that in mind, we take a look at the potential Forest starting line-up that would make them genuine Championship promotion contenders.

GK – Costel Pantilimon

The Romanian goalkeeper arrived back at the City Ground on a permanent deal this summer after impressing during a loan spell during the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.

Every promotion chasing side needs a solid custodian and in signing the ex-Manchester City man the Reds have now ensured that they will have one of the very best goalkeepers in the division next season.

The 31-year-old built up a solid rapport with the Forest faithful during his time at the City Ground last season and a tremendous double save against Derby County still lives in the memory of the club’s supporters.

RB – Sam Byram

The former Leeds United defender hasn’t checked-in at the City Ground just yet but if the reports doing the rounds are to be believed, the 24-year-old could soon be a Nottingham Forest player.

Byram is down the pecking order at the London Stadium and their new boss Manuel Pellegrini is keen to offload certain players in his squad to make room for new additions.

Tendayi Darikwa is Forest’s only senior right-back at the moment and it is imperative that the club sign another one ahead of the season kicking-off.

The former Burnley man was in decent form for Forest at the back end of last season but if a coup like Byram can be pulled off, it seems highly likely that he will get the nod to start the campaign.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

CB – Michael Dawson

Aitor Karanka delighted the Nottingham Forest faithful earlier in the summer by completing the free transfer of fan favourite Michael Dawson, who checked-in following his release from Hull City.

Dawson had pushed to return to the City Ground during the January transfer window but a deal couldn’t be struck between the two clubs leading to a delay in the inevitable switch.

Although Dawson is now 34-years-old he will still be a massive player for Forest next season and his leadership skills and vast experience could prove invaluable attributes as the Reds hope to push towards the top end of the Championship.

CB – Tobias Figueiredo

The Portuguese central defender has turned his loan move into a permanent one this summer and it is a transfer which has given Forest supporters genuine hope of challenging for a place in the top six.

When Aitor Karanka raided Sporting Lisbon for his services back in January, some Forest fans questioned who the 24-year-old was and saw the central defender as a bit of a gamble considering his lack of experience in English football.

It was clear once the youngster was unleashed on the Championship, however, that he had the required quality to be a good signing for the club. Figueiredo faces a race against time to be fit for Forest’s opening game of the 2018/19 campaign, but nonetheless he looks set to be a big player for the club over the next nine months.

LB – Jack Robinson

The former Liverpool trainee arrived at the City Ground on a free transfer this summer following his release from Queens Park Rangers where he had been an key member of their team last season.

The 24-year-old played 31 times for the R’s last season at central defence but it seems likely that Forest boss Aitor Karanka will view Robinson as more of a left-back for the Reds.

The left-hand side of the back four has been a problematic area in recent seasons for Forest and although Ben Osborn filled in admirably last season, it would seem logical that Karanka will look for a more natural solution during 2018/19.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

CM – Ben Watson

Aitor Karanka pulled off a major coup when he completed the signing of Ben Watson on a free transfer back in February and the ex-Watford man is firmly established as the Forest captain.

Watson worked tirelessly hard in the middle of the park during the second half of last season and on his day he is still one of the Championship’s very best midfielders.

The 32-year-old is the epitome of the sort of players that Aitor Karanka wants at Nottingham Forest and his experience of winning promotion previously could prove crucial in the Reds’ push for a place in the Premier League.

CM – Jack Colback

If you believe what you read in the newspaper then the Reds are set to complete the loan signing of Newcastle United midfielder Jack Colback in a deal which is sure to delight the majority of Forest supporters.

The 28-year-old made 16 appearances for the Reds last season during a loan spell with the club and the partnership he struck up with Ben Watson was particularly impressive.

If Forest can field Watson and Colback alongside each other again next season it would give them one of the most organised midfield pairing in the whole of the second tier.

(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

RW – Gil Dias

The 20-year-old arrived at the City Ground this summer on a season-long loan from French giants Monaco and he comes with a reputation as a star of the future.

The man who spent last season on loan with Fiorentina opened his Forest account this week by netting a superb solo goal in a 3-0 win over Malaga, dancing through four challenges before slipping the ball under the advancing custodian to instantly excite the club’s supporters.

Forest have signed a number of attacking talents this summer and it seems likely that Dias will get the nod to start on the right-wing ahead of academy graduate Matty Cash, who showed some promise in a similar role last season.

AMC – João Carvalho

Forest smashed their transfer record this summer when they paid £13.2 million for Portuguese prospect João Carvalho and the club will naturally be eager to see their record purchase smash the Championship to pieces.

The 21-year-old has arrived at the City Ground from Benfica where he tasted experience of playing in the Champions League and all eyes will be on Carvalho in the early stages of next season as he looks to adapt to the Championship.

Carvalho is comfortable on the ball and he is also capable of playing in a number of attacking positions, although it seems very likely that he will start the campaign in a number ten role.

LW – Joe Lolley

Given his impressive performances at the back end of last season it seems probable that Aitor Karanka will keep faith with Lolley when it comes to picking his team for the start of the 2018/19 campaign.

Forest secured the services of highly-rated Portuguese youngster Diogo Gonçalves this summer, so if Lolley is to get the nod to begin the season he will need to ensure that his performances maintain the consistency which they did at the back end of last season if he is to keep hold of his place.

The 25-year-old ex-Huddersfield Town man can really ignite his career at Nottingham Forest and the club’s supporters have already warmed to him following his arrival at the City Ground in January.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

ST – Lewis Grabban

Forest flexed their financial muscle by forking out £6 million to bring the prolific Lewis Grabban to the City Ground, in a deal which will have undoubtedly made the rest of the Championship stand up and take notice.

The 30-year-old talisman notched 20 times last season in loan spells at Sunderland and then Aston Villa, where his form helped them to the Championship play-off final.

Forest struggled desperately for goals during last season and their supporters will be ecstatic that Aitor Karanka has finally nailed down a clinical striker with proven ability of scoring in the Championship.

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