Nottingham Forest will be hoping that a season-long loan for Arijanet Muric proves beneficial to all concerned following his arrival at the City Ground.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper has, as confirmed on the club’s official website, joined from Manchester City.

He will spend the 2019-20 campaign on Trentside.

As first-choice or back-up remains to be seen.

Costel Pantilimon is still in charge of the gloves for now.

He has, however, been given greater competition.

The towering Romanian has not really faced that during his time with Forest so far.

Aitor Karanka and Martin O’Neill made him the first name on the teamsheet.

That was because they had little alternative.

Luke Steele has not convinced in the limited opportunities he has been granted.


(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Muric, though, is expecting to challenge for a starting berth from the first game of the season, telling Forest’s official website: “I’m here to fight for the number-one spot in the team and to make sure I have some game time.”

Premier League champions City will have thought long and hard about where to send him.

They hold the Kosovo international in high regard.

And will want him to see minutes in order to aid his development.

Playing second fiddle to Ederson at the Etihad Stadium and working with the Brazilian on a daily basis would do more for Muric than a training brief at Forest.

Pantilimon, himself a former City shot-stopper, will be expecting a battle.

Muric, though, still has plenty to prove.

He boasts all of the physical traits required to be a top keeper.

At 6ft 6in tall, commanding his penalty area should not be a problem.

Working with Guardiola should also have helped to improve his distribution and ability with a ball at his feet.

Issues which have held Pantilimon back at times.

Muric’s manager back in Manchester said in the Telegraph after a penalty shootout victory over Leicester in last season’s Carabao Cup which saw a promising custodian star: “Aro is so big and the pressure for the opponent is not easy.

“He is so quick with his reaction he has a lot of power in his legs.

“He’s 20 years old and he’s played all the competition. He’s a young guy who trains very well. He is so shy. He deserves the big applause.

“During the game was brilliant in his decisions, saving with his foot and in the penalties the keeper is decisive.”


Plenty of positives to be found there.

It is, however, claims that Muric is “so shy” that Forest will be hoping to work on.

They, along with City, will be looking for the youngster to come out of his shell.

Confidence is imperative for a goalkeeper.

The last line of defence has to feel assured in his own game and inspire faith in his ability from those around him.

Muric, if he figures on a regular basis, will be required to instruct his defensive line.

He will have experienced heads such as Michael Dawson, Alexander Milosevic and Yohan Benalouane to aid that cause, but needs to become a leader in his own right.

In many ways, with keepers capable of playing into their 40s, Muric is just starting out.

There are important lessons for him take at this stage, though, and Forest need him to prosper on Trentside if he is to become the player that those in red and blue believe he is destined to be.

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