The footballing fates may have played into Nottingham Forest’s hands when it comes to bringing Sam Byram back to the City Ground.

Where there was once hope, there is now expectation.

The Reds will not get a better opportunity to push another deal through.

Be that permanent or loan.


Because a door has just been slammed in his face at parent club West Ham.

Pablo Zabaleta has committed to a new 12-month contract with the Hammers.

The Argentine is a right-back.

As is Ryan Fredericks – the favoured choice of Manuel Pellegrini at present.

And, of course, Byram.


(Photo by David Shipman – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Three most certainly does not go into one.

But, as one door closes, another swings open.

In this instance, back to the City Ground.

Byram has previously said in the Nottingham Post of his future plans: “I need to play football and, you know, if Nottingham Forest offer me football next season, I would not turn that opportunity down.

“But I need to sit down in the summer with West Ham, because I do not know what their plans are for me.

“I am hoping to keep playing here until the end of the season and then see where we go from there.

“Nothing has been said yet about my future yet. As far as I am aware, I will head back to West Ham, speak with the manager and go from there.”



That could be a short conversation.

A considerably longer one is hopefully being planned by Martin O’Neill.

The Forest boss has admitted to already having an idea about which loaness he would like to have at his disposal again next season.

It would be truly baffling were Byram not to figure on that wish list.

Yes, he has endured injury struggles in recent times, but he is a fine asset when fit.

Faith and patience has been shown in him at on Trentside.

That should count for plenty.

With everything – seemingly – pointing in Forest’s favour.

A door to a Premier League-calibre player has been left ajar.

O’Neill and Co need to be walking through it if ambitions of joining that level as a collective are to be realised.

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