New Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill will be looking to bolster his attacking options this month.
The Reds suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Bristol City in O’Neill’s first game at the weekend. They failed to muster a single shot on target in the first-half. It is therefore clear why the club are looking to sign a new forward.
If O’Neill is going to stick with a 4-4-2 formation, the performances of the two wide players will be vital in most games. It’s no good having two strikers on the pitch if they aren’t receiving quality service.
For the most part, Matty Cash and Joe Lolley were unable to provide any service against Bristol City. Their final ball was poor throughout which meant that Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy were left frustrated.
With Forest slowly slipping away from the play-offs, it’s essential that they sign another forward in January, one with the quality to open up defences and take the pressure off the likes of Lolley.
In the meantime, Seat Pitch has taken a look at four wingers who have all been mentioned in recent weeks.
The winger who has been most heavily linked with the Reds recently is James McClean. Reports linking the 29-year-old with a move to the City Ground have certainly generated a mixed response from supporters. McClean has already proven himself in the Championship and has picked up six assists this season.
One of the main issues with any deal for McClean would be the cost involved. Stoke would be looking to recoup majority of the £5 million they paid West Brom for his services in the summer. Together with his high wages, it could be an expensive gamble for the Reds to take.
If McClean’s age is an issue for some, then 22-year-old Celtic winger Lewis Morgan may seem a better bet. According to a report in the Scottish Sun today, the Reds have joined Hull City and Aberdeen in the race for the ex-Scotland Under-21 winger.
Morgan has made 13 appearances for Celtic so far this season, but has failed to pick up a single goal or assist. Brendan Rodgers is keen on sending him out to secure more game time. However, he’d prefer Morgan to stay in Scotland if possible, which might make it more difficult for Forest to strike a deal.
According to reports in the Hull Daily Mail, the Tigers would be reluctant to sell Jarrod Bowen for anything less than £10 million this month. This automatically makes it unlikely that Forest would be able to compete for his signature. However, if they were looking to make an ambitious move, Bowen would be a superb acquisition.
The 22-year-old has scored 14 goals and picked up three assists in 28 appearances in the Championship this season. That is a phenomenal return for a winger, no matter what level they are playing at. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that the likes of Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with the forward in recent weeks.
Perhaps a more realistic target for the Reds this month would be Sheffield Wednesday winger Adam Reach. The Birmingham Mail have reported that the Reds are among the favourites to secure the 25-year-old’s signature. Considering Wednesday’s current struggles with Financial Fair Play, it would be a wise move from Forest to try and take advantage of that.
Despite the Owls’ struggles this season, Reach has certainly performed well on an individual level. He has scored seven goals in 31 appearances, with majority of them being spectacular long-range strikes. If he is on the move this month, Forest would be silly not to put a bid in for him.