Nottingham Forest look set to make a foray into the transfer market this month as they bid to fulfil their promotion dream.
Several new recruits were added to Aitor Karanka’s ranks during the summer and more are likely to follow in January.
The latest player to be linked with a switch to the City Ground is Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton, according to the Daily Mail – via journalist James Marshment on Twitter:
It has been questioned among Forest supporters whether the Reds boss might attempt to sign a new stopper; with Costel Pantilimon looking shaky to say the least.
Luke Steele deputised for the Romanian at Chelsea on Saturday; saving a penalty and making several solid stops.
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Here at Seat Pitch we assess the pros and cons to Forest securing a potential deal for Heaton.
It goes without saying that the signing of an international goalkeeper of Heaton’s class would be an exciting one.
The 32-year-old has played in Burnley’s last two Premier League games, so there is a question mark as to whether the Clarets would even be willing to let him depart.
With Nick Pope and Joe Hart both at Sean Dyche’s disposal, however, it wouldn’t be totally beyond the realms of reality.
Pantilimon has had a difficult season with a few goals coming from his mistakes; whilst his overall commanding of his area has declined this season.
Heaton is a man who has been there and done it when it comes to winning promotion from the Championship.
The custodian is a sound shot-stopper, commands his penalty area well and is also a good distributor of the ball.
The fact that Heaton would arrive on loan would also represent a relatively small risk on the basis that the Reds would probably only have to stump up a percentage of his wage.
Forest are well stocked in the goalkeeping department.
Pantilimon is an ever present in the Championship this season, Luke Steele has looked solid in the cup competitions, whilst Jordan Smith is also still on the books on Trentside.
To bring another goalkeeper in would probably come with an element of surprise; whilst it would also confirm that Karanka doesn’t have total faith in the ones at his disposal.
Alongside a healthy plethora of keepers, there is also an argument that suggests Forest would be wise to prioritise other areas of the squad.
The back four of late has frequently seen square pegs placed in round holes, with Karanka surely looking towards defensive reinforcements.
Another negative to the deal could be Heaton’s fitness concerns.
He has featured in the last two Premier League games but does have a history of shoulder problems.
Forest have far too many players on the treatment table as it is and they can’t really afford any more passengers.
The Seat Pitch Verdict
It seems conclusive that the pros to a deal do outweigh the cons.
Heaton is a fantastic goalkeeper and he would represent an improvement on Forest’s three senior stoppers.
The chance to sign an international for the rest of the season could hand the Reds an advantage on their rivals in the race to reach the Premier League.
It remains to be seen just how serious Forest’s interest is in Heaton; but it will be sure to delight supporters if a deal can come to fruition.