Rafa Mir has departed the City Ground and the expectation should be that the likes of Costel Pantilimon and Aro Muric will soon follow him out of Nottingham Forest.

It would be a surprise if that were not to be the case.

The Reds currently have two goalkeepers on their books that they have no real need for.

A third is about to join the ranks.

Luke Steele’s loan spell at Championship rivals Millwall is coming to a close.

Lions boss Gary Rowett has told the South London Press: “His mindset was that he came here to try and play games and it has not worked out for him due to Bart Bialkowski’s form and various other things.

“He needs to go and play. He can’t afford at his age and stage of his career, where he has played so many games, to be sat on the bench.”

Steele is 35 years of age.

Pantilimon is three years younger at 32.

He is also at a stage of his career where he needs to be figuring prominently, not frozen out.

The towering Romanian has become a bit-part figure at the City Ground.


(Photo by Mick Walker – CameraSport via Getty Images)

You could be forgiven for forgetting that he is even still on the Reds’ books.

After collecting 15 clean sheets last season, Pantilimon is yet to see a single minute this term.

The arrivals of Muric and Brice Samba last summer nudged him down the pecking order.

A Kosovo international soon joined him in that slide.

Muric, like Mir, has become disposable.

A season-long agreement with Manchester City will likely be ripped up at some point.

Pantilimon can also be expected to find the key which finally swings open the exit door.

Lamouchi has said in the Nottingham Post of his fringe figures: “I don’t want a lot of movement. I don’t want a lot of players. Because with more players, there are more problems if they don’t play.

“I want all players focused on our target. Our target is game by game, to fight and to work all together until the end.”


Pantilimon does not figure in that picture.

Nor does Muric.

Or Steele.

A few others can also be placed into that category outside of the goalkeeping department – Claudio Yacob, Michael Hefele, Liam Bridcutt, Zach Clough et al.

There will be an option to clear the decks at the end of the season.

Plenty of contracts are ticking down.

There is, however, little point in keeping players that are not going to get anywhere near the team.

They can be thanked for their efforts and moved on.

Pantilimon is deserving of that show of respect.

He may not be to everybody’s taste and remains something of an enigmatic talent that can amaze and frustrate within a matter of minutes.

Keepers are wired a little differently though.

There was a role for him under Aitor Karanka and Martin O’Neill, but the era of Lamouchi has moved things in a different direction and Pantilimon should do likewise.

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