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.
Tyler Walker bags hat-trick for Mansfield as Nottingham Forest scrape through
The talented striker is highly thought of at the City Ground.
Mansfield Town went through to the next round of the League Cup in scintillating style last night. They defeated League One newbies Accrington Stanley 6-1 in a fantastic performance from the League Two side.
There was also a reason for Nottingham Forest to be pleased with the result. It was a tough night for Forest. Reduced to ten men, Matty Cash scored a last-minute equaliser to take their tie with Bury to penalties. They went on to win 10-9 in a thrilling shoot-out.
But whilst that was going on, one of their young stars was walking off with a match ball. Tyler Walker scored a hat-trick in the Mansfield win.
It takes his tally for the season to four goals from three games and is hopefully a sign of things to come from the 21-year-old.
He burst onto the scene at Nottingham Forest in 2015 but soon found it tough to get minutes at the City Ground.
Subsequent loan spells at Burton Albion, Stevenage and Port Vale have been somewhat successful. However, a stint in the Championship with Bolton Wanderers last season certainly set him back.
Walker made the bold move to head back down to League Two, where it seems he is set to have a fantastic season with the Stags.
Nottingham Forest fans will hope Walker continues his fine form and can eventually bring it back to the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest should consider loaning out Liam Bridcutt this month
The Scottish midfielder has struggled to find his feet under Aitor Karanka.
Nottingham Forest take on Bury in the League Cup this evening, in a game which will likely see some fringe players get a chance. One of those players who will be hoping for a recall will be Liam Bridcutt.
When Nottingham Forest signed the former Leeds United captain last summer it looked a coup. A favourite of Garry Monk’s, new manager Thomas Christiansen was not so keen. Therefore, Forest got him for a reported £1 million. It appeared a bargain for a top Championship midfielder.
However, Bridcutt currently finds himself down the pecking order at the City Ground. He played just 24 times last season, with new manager Aitor Karanka not as keen on his talents as predecessor Mark Warburton.
This term, with the likes of Jack Colback, Ben Watson, Adlene Guedioura and Matty Cash ahead of him in the pecking order, Bridcutt has not yet featured at all.
One of the highest earners at the City Ground, Forest must surely be considering sending him out on loan before the end of August. He is contributing very little at the moment and with young Ryan Yates waiting in the wings, it might be time to move Bridcutt on.
One to Watch: Nottingham Forest’s Ben Brereton should start vs Bury
The talented teenager burst onto the scene in 2017.
Nottingham Forest striker Ben Brereton was the subject of a late bid from Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers on transfer deadline day, according to the Nottingham Post, but the Reds stood firm and the 19-year-old remains, for now, a Forest player.
The consensus among the Forest faithful is that the talented striker is a player worth much more than the £5 million that Rovers were offering, given that he has graduated through the club’s academy, having been nurtured by the club, and based on how much potential he still has to fulfil.
It does ask the question, however, of just how much football Brereton will play for his current club and would a temporary stint away from the City Ground be good for his development?
The youngster is yet to make one of Aitor Karanka’s matchday squads this season, although he could get the chance to shine when Forest take on League Two outfit Bury in the League Cup on Tuesday evening.
Since making his debut in 2017 Brereton has netted eight goals in 53 appearances and although his game is about much more than scoring goals, that statistic suggests that his development could be best served out on loan for the 2018/19 campaign.
Forest boss Karanka tends to only play one striker and given his first three squads it would appear that Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy are the two players currently vying for a place in attack, something which leaves Brereton on the fringes of the first-team.
Brereton performed tirelessly last season when Forest didn’t boast such an array of attacking influx and for that he deserves credit. The harsh reality now, however, is that he just doesn’t have the same ability as other players who can play in similar positions.
The game against Bury should give the academy graduate the chance to show his manager just what he is capable of, but it is more likely to show potential suitors exactly what he could bring to their club as they compete to take him on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Any potential deal that see Brereton leave the club temporarily should be done so with a meticulous mindset. It would be completely pointless to loan him out to a club that is going to leave him on the bench and further harm his progress.
It also vital that Forest don’t include any deal that involves the club to buy him permanently as there is enough to suggest that Brereton can still have a future at the City Ground, and given his age he could be worth a whole lot more than the fees currently being brandished around.
At this stage the notion of a loan spell is somewhat speculative, but the fundamental factor is that Brereton needs to play and it seems pretty conclusive that he won’t deal that a great deal over the next few months on Trentside.
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