Nottingham Forest were reported to be keen on Jermain Defoe over the summer and, if you believe what you read, the Bournemouth striker is back on the Reds’ radar.

The Nottingham Post have reported that the former England international is looking for a move in January after finding game time with the Cherries hard to come by.

That has sparked inevitable talk of Forest being in the mix for a proven performer.

Such speculation is to be taken with a pinch of salt, as Defoe has hardly stated that he has his heart set on a move to the City Ground – regardless of the picture some may be painting.

He has said in The Mirror: “We’ll see what happens.

“At the end of the day I’m a footballer and I like playing football. I’m not playing football at the minute so we’ll see what happens.”


That is no come-and-get-me plea to the Reds, with the door being left open for any number of suitors.

Aitor Karanka, meanwhile, has been rather non-committal on the prospect of landing Defoe in the past.

He said in the Nottingham Post over the summer: “The bigger picture is about whether he wants to come and the salary involved. Again, he is not the only name.”

If you were to ask the Spaniard for his thoughts on the current rumours, he would probably offer the same reply.

You would certainly hope so, as a mooted move for Defoe is one which perhaps sounds better in theory than it may be in reality.

He might be closing in on 300 goals at club level, to go with 57 caps for his country, but he is now 36 years of age and hasn’t taken in a Football League outing since 2004.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

As pointed out by Karanka, his wages would be an issue too.

Forest may well be able to trim a sizeable chunk off a top-flight salary, but he would still be one of, if not the top earner at the club.

And with that standing would he start every game? Highly unlikely.

So the Reds are paying out top dollar for a player who spends most of his time sat on the bench and sees more minutes as an impact substitute than as a member of the starting XI.

His skill set suggests that he would be an ideal choice to fill the aforementioned role, with his predatory instincts just what Forest are looking for.

Match sharpness

He has, however, got little match sharpness under his belt and would need to hit the ground running on the back of an expensive mid-season agreement.

Is that a gamble worth taking? Do Forest not already have striking options that bring something different to the party in Lewis Grabban, Daryl Murphy, Karim Ansarifard et al?

If a goalkeeper is considered to be the top priority for January, potentially more defensive cover and another creative/goal-getting influence in midfield, then a new frontman sits some way down the list.

Defoe is generating plenty of debate, and dividing opinion among many Forest fans, because he is ‘a name’.

He ticks boxes for many – track record, finishing ability, attitude – but concerns others – age, money, short-termism.

The dream of promotion allows us all to buy into the belief that one player could provide the Premier League X-Factor, but whether Defoe is the man to win that talent contest remains questionable.

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