Nottingham Forest added two new goalkeepers to their ranks during the summer with Brice Samba signing from Caen and Arijanet Muric on loan from Manchester City.
Signing a pair of stoppers was perhaps a surprise to some supporters with Forest already having three on their books ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
Costel Pantilimon, Luke Steele and Jordan Smith are under contract at the City Ground. As a result, many believed there wasn’t any real need for the goalkeeping department to be strengthened.
Romanian stopper Pantilimon kept 15 clean sheets last season and he has dropped down to the fourth choice this campaign; failing to feature in any squad so far this season.
Muric began the season as the club’s number one goalkeeper; although some sporadic form has seen him dropped for the mightily impressive Samba.
With the Kosovo international on-loan from the reigning Premier League champions, it seems highly unlikely that they will be disappointed with the current arrangement.
Should the £10,000-a-week (The Sun) player return to the Citizens in January it could open the door for Steele to regain his place the club’s second-choice goalkeeper.
The 35-year-old is currently on loan at Millwall but he has been restricted to just two Carabao Cup appearances this season. On Saturday against Leeds, he wasn’t even named in Adam Barrett’s 18-man squad.
Steele played seven games for Forest last season, keeping two clean sheets. He was allowed to join the Lions following the new City Ground arrivals in his position, but he would have hoped to play more first-team football.
Samba is firmly established as the club’s number one stopper at Forest and Pantilimon will almost certainly leave the club during the summer.
If Muric does leave and head back to the Etihad Stadium then Steele would surely return to Forest with his loan spell due to end in January.
The veteran custodian has proved a capable understudy throughout his career and he would be a more than capable backup to Samba.
With Jordan Smith probably further down the pecking order than his few squad places this season indicate, it would seem certain that a door would swing open for Steele should Muric depart.
Smith struggled to get into Mansfield Town’s team last season during a loan spell and he will probably remain the club’s third-choice stopper.
That would leave Steele to waltz back into the City Ground and almost certainly reclaim his place on the bench in Sabri Lamouchi’s matchday squad, should Muric’s loan agreement be ended.