The January transfer window can be notoriously difficult to navigate.

No manager wants to part with prized assets midway through a season, but rivals need to add.

This pushes prices up in an already inflated market.

Loan deals offer a useful alternative to the more frugal, with there less of a risk factor involved.

Find the right pieces for the puzzle and the rewards will be plentiful.

Get a little lost and find yourself rummaging through the wrong bargain bucket and fresh faces can do more harm than good.

With only so many places to fill in any given squad, and only so much money to go around, managers need to tread carefully.

In Forest’s case, Aitor Karanka – or whoever is in charge – needs to get things right.


(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

The Reds’ current boss has worked his side to the fringes of the promotion-chasing pack with there still plenty of hurdles to clear.

Smart additions now could spark a charge towards the finishing post.

Questionable ones may lead to costly stumbles and a slip back through the field.

From the outside looking in, the correct approach appears to be being taken.

Now is not the time to be taking unnecessary risks.

That means getting players in who can slot seamlessly into the fold and make an immediate impression – be that from the start or off the bench.

In Championship terms, that normally means getting bodies on board with experience of the division.

Or at least life in England.

Twelve months ago, Karanka favoured that approach and reaped the rewards for the most part.

Over the summer, with pre-season to play with, the rules were relaxed a little.


It comes as no surprise, though, to find that the biggest impact at the City Ground has been made by those not in need of an adjustment period.

Joao Carvalho has caught the eye, but the Reds’ record signing is still feeding his feet somewhat in the cut and thrust of the English second tier.

Hillal Soudani has seen injuries hamper his cause, Gil Dias has convinced nobody, Diogo Goncalves has tumbled down the pecking order and Panagiotis Tachtsidis has already been moved on.

With that track record in mind, Forest need to avoid gambling overseas again.

The vast majority of those being linked with the Reds at present are based in Britain and it appears as though that will be the favoured recruitment path.

Hopefully that will remain the case.

There is no need to add for the sake of it, the squad is already deep enough.

Minor tinkering, in and out, is the way forward and shopping close to home should help to bolster the ranks down the spine of the side – with goalkeeper, centre-half, creative midfielder and striker seemingly the positions most people would like to see addressed.

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