Despite a strong start to the 2019/20 campaign, it would appear that Nottingham Forest already have their eyes on the January transfer window.
According to the Express and Star, Forest are in the race with Leeds, West Brom and Aston Villa to sign highly-rated Coventry defender Sam McCallum.
Primarily a left-back, the 19-year-old has played five times in League One for the Sky Blues this season. Despite his career in its infancy, he is already alerting Championship clubs.
Forest have a proud history of working wonders with younger players but it’s fair to say that the signing of McCallum wouldn’t do any favours to some of the club’s current emerging talents.
Jack Robinson and Yuri Ribeiro have been utilised at left-back this season and it seems unlikely the Coventry talent would dislodge either of those two players.
Waiting in the wings is Danny Preston. The academy star is currently Jimmy Gilligan’s captain for the under-23s and coaching staff at Forest rate him very highly indeed.
The 19-year-old could well find himself thrust into first-team squads should anything happen to the current first-team left-backs this season.
Elsewhere, Jayden Richardson is a right-back currently performing well out on loan at Exeter; whilst Jordan Gabriel is a versatile defender who made his debut as a second-half substitute against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.
Whilst the Reds should continue to scour the market for value for money and players with an element of sell-on value, they must be good enough.
McCallum is performing well just now in League One but he is still young and whilst he is in the development stage, Forest would perhaps be better-served handing opportunities to their own youngsters.
City boss Mark Robins has already said that it will take a ‘monumental’ bid for any club to prise McCallum away from Coventry. That sort of sentiment suggests they may want over the odds and if that is the case, Forest should definitely steer clear.
The work done by Gary Brazil with the academy has been fantastic and very few graduates have struggled to make the step up to the first-team.
The likes of Preston, Richardson and Gabriel all look set for bright futures and seeing them step up to the first-team would delight supporters.
Spending millions on a relative novice could be a nothing more than a risky point by Forest and a glance close to him should be the preferred strategy as far as McCallum is concerned.