There cannot have been too many occasions in which Nottingham Forest have landed a player once courted by Barcelona, but in John Bostock the Reds have found one.

The summer window for Championship clubs had closed when a deal for the 27-year-old was announced.

Bostock has arrived on a season-long loan from French outfit Toulouse.

He has, on the Reds’ official website, branded himself a “ball-playing midfielder” and brings even more creativity to the ranks.

There is a determination on his part to prove himself all over again in English football.

That is because a sense remains that he has never truly fulfilled his potential.

When bursting onto the scene at Crystal Palace, Bostock was billed as a future superstar.

He had not got a sniff of senior action before he was attracting interest from the biggest sides on the planet – although a senior bow was made at 15.


(Photo by Manuel Blondeau/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Among those to cast admiring glances in his direction were Spanish giants at Camp Nou.

Bostock told Palace TV in 2018 when reflecting on a stunning start to what has become a nomadic career: “It was probably around the age of 14 or 15 when Barcelona made their interest [known].

“They actually offered me a contract and asked me to sign for several years, which was obviously very attractive but we didn’t think it would be in our best interests.

“Growing up in England you just think about the clubs here, you don’t think of going abroad as an option. So when that came it was something you really had to consider.

“I was coming to the end of my last year at school, so would have been close to signing scholar terms [at Palace], and I wanted to stay, but obviously other factors came into it, agents and other peoples’ advice.

“The people who were managing me at the time weren’t happy with the offer that Palace gave so they were pushing me towards another option, but it was always my desire to stay at the club.

“Palace always made it clear that they wanted to keep me at the club and for me to go on to be a first-team regular and really take my place in centre midfield, so that was my plan also.”



Bostock’s commitment Palace ultimately earned him a switch to Tottenham.

He has, however, struggled to put down roots anywhere and finds himself in Nottingham after stints in Canada, Belgium, Turkey and France.

Trentside may not be Catalunya, but the slate has been wiped clean once more.

Time is still on Bostock’s side and the ability shown as a teenager remains in his locker.

Sabri Lamouchi just needs to try and bring it out.

If he can do that, then a man who once came close to joining Lionel Messi and Co in Spain could prove to be one of the bargains of the summer.

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