Nottingham Forest are reportedly interested in signing Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald, according to Football Insider.
It’s set to be a very busy couple of days at the City Ground. A number of players, including McDonald, have been touted with potential moves to join the Reds.
This isn’t the first time he has been linked with a move to Forest. Mark Warburton was very keen on signing him in just over one-and-a-half years ago, according to the Nottingham Post.
In this case, the Reds are in need of a more attack-minded central midfielder. The likes of Jack Colback and Claudio Yacob are both good players, but offer little going forward. McDonald would be able to turn defence into attack a lot quicker.
If Liam Bridcutt is to depart before tomorrow’s deadline, then a spot in the squad would also be opened up. Ben Watson may have also moved on if Aitor Karanka was still in charge, but Martin O’Neill’s arrival has given him a new lease of life.
It remains to be seen how this deal develops, as the Nottingham Post have since reported that the rumours don’t hold any substance. However, as seen before, things can change very quickly as the deadline approaches.
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How would McDonald fit in?
The Reds aren’t currently short of options in central midfield.
Colback, Yacob, Watson, Adlène Guedioura, Liam Bridcutt and Ryan Yates are all good options. Matty Cash and Ben Osborn also have the ability to play there. It’s also easy to forget João Carvalho who hasn’t played a single minute of football under O’Neill as of yet.
In brief, McDonald is a different type of midfielder to all of the above. He offers something that the Reds haven’t really had since Paul McKenna left the club.
The closest comparison to McDonald in the current squad is undoubtedly Colback. They both do the work that often goes unnoticed by supporters, but are a crucial component of any successful team.
With Forest’s chances of keeping Colback long-term arguably looking slim, McDonald could be the ideal replacement moving forward.
Is McDonald past his best?
As is the case with any rumours, there are always aspects that make the deal more of a risk. If there wasn’t, then they would be playing consistently at the highest level and wouldn’t be on the move.
In this case, it’s McDonald’s age and lack of football this season which is the only drawback. At 30-years-old, his best years arguably are already behind him. However, he would certainly add a wealth of experience to Forest’s midfield.
In addition to this, he has only made 11 appearances for Fulham this season since their promotion to the Premier League. It’s always a shame to see players like McDonald not given a chance in the top flight, especially when he played such a key role in the Whites getting there.
He was a key player in Slaviša Jokanović’s promotion-winning side. Without him, the likes of Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney wouldn’t have been able to shine and take the limelight. McDonald was the one who tidied things up, before finding Fulham’s attacking players with his excellent range of passing.
For that reason alone, it’s easy to see why a host of Championship clubs have reportedly been alerted by his availability. If the Reds aren’t already involved in the chase, they should definitely throw themselves into the hat.