When Nottingham Forest landed the vastly experienced Ben Watson last January it represented a real statement of intent.
The Reds were languishing towards the bottom end of the Championship and boss Aitor Karanka had identified Watson as the seasoned campaign to oversee a revival.
The ex-Watford man performed admirably in the middle of the park and Forest survived.
This season, however, things haven’t looked quite so rosy for the 33-year-old. Watson has been largely disappointing when called upon, with his days potentially numbered.
From a supporters perspective, it is a real shame that things haven’t worked out for the midfielder. Indeed, Watson is perhaps the right player at the wrong time for the club.
The right time was back in January during a bleaker period for the club. Watson is a good, honest professional and his arrival was a massive lift to the club. It wouldn’t be a major surprise if a struggling team in this season’s championship call upon Watson in the coming months.
He should leave the City Ground without a bad word said in theory. At a time when Forest supporters had been forced to withstand some bang average footballers, Watson never once slipped near that territory.
During the current campaign, however, Watson has become a smaller fish in a bigger pond. Frankly, with better players now vying for his shirt, he has been found wanting on the pitch.
The man who once scored the winner in an FA Cup Final is still a good player. The debate here is whether his legs can hold up to the demands of a team chasing a promotion dream.
Claudio Yacob and Jack Colback look more able performers than Watson and a parting of ways might be the best outcome.
Keeping the likes of Watson and Liam Bridcutt around when deemed surplus seems pointless. Ryan Yates is seen as one for the future and keeping deadwood around will only hamper his progress further.