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.
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.