With the January transfer window just around the corner, speculation on clubs wanting to sign Nottingham Forest’s best players has begun.
The first in the spotlight is in-form right-back Matty Cash. The Sun (Print Edition; page 72) are claiming that Everton, Crystal Palace and Southampton are readying £12 million bids for the 22-year-old.
With Forest flying high in the Championship, they surely won’t welcome any offers for their better players and Cash certainly fits into that category given his form of late.
The academy graduate has played all but one of Forest’s 15 league games this season, becoming one of Sabri Lamouchi’s most important players in his new right-back role.
Cash is level-headed and determined enough to keep his head down and stay completely focused, whilst the new hierarchy at the club have made something of a stance when it comes to not offloading Forest’s most valuable assets.
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If the Forest man did want any additional guidance over his future, he shouldn’t look any further than ex-Reds player Oliver Burke.
He burst onto the scene at the end of the 2015/16 campaign and started the following campaign, alongside Cash, as a first-team regular.
After four goals during his first five games, Fawaz Al-Haswi opted to accept a bid of £13 million (Sky Sports) for the services of Burke, leaving Forest supporters desperately upset.
Although Burke might not have had much say in the transfer to the Bundesliga, he must now look back at the years since and wonder what might have been.
The Scotland international has seen his career take an almighty nosedive since leaving the City Ground. He made just 26 appearances for Leipzig, scoring one goal and registering two assists.
He then joined West Brom where he failed to win a place in the team on a regular basis, joining Celtic on loan for the second half of last season.
Even in a league far inferior to anything he had played in before, Burke struggled to impose himself at Celtic. He looked shy of confidence throughout his loan spell and scored four goals in 19 appearances at Parkhead.
This season the Baggies have farmed him out on loan to Alaves of La Liga.
Quite simply the grass hasn’t proved greener for Burke since leaving Forest. If the flying winger could turn back the clock it seems certain he would plead with Fawaz to let him stay on Trentside where he was a permanent fixture in Philippe Montanier’s team.
At the moment Cash is playing regular football and thriving under a manager who has the utmost confidence in his ability.
He will certainly grace the Premier League in the future but that doesn’t need to be now.
Cash comes across as a player who adores playing for the Reds and the best place for him at this stage of his career is undoubtedly at the City Ground.
If he does have any doubts, Burke’s career path would serve as an abrupt reminder to any player tempted to jump ship at the first possible opportunity.