The January transfer window is on the horizon and Chris Hughton could dip his toe. Could Ateef Konate provide the Reds boss with a solution to a big problem – and for free?

The youngster checked in from Le Havre during the summer transfer window and is whipping up a storm in the under-23 ranks.

A French youngster, he fired home his fifth goal of the season during Monday’s 3-0 win over Crewe and is getting better with each game.

It’s no secret whatsoever that Forest need some balance in the middle of the park.

Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship
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The Reds are blessed with plenty of steel but very little guile in the engine room and that needs to be addressed.

All of Forest’s midfield options at the moment have very similar attributes and with that in mind, Hughton might look for a different type of player.

Linking defence with attack has proved tricky this season.

Some view Ryan Yates as the man to fulfil the box-to-box duty but all too often has shown that in possession of the ball he is still a work in progress.

At 22, there is hope that the academy starlet can develop but right now his passing isn’t quite crisp enough to get Forest attacking quickly.

Yates is arguably better at the defensive side of the game too. Both he and Samba Sow did the defensive side of things very well at Millwall for example.

A pass success ratio of just 55% in that game, however, highlights why Forest can’t rely on him to be the man to play through the lines just yet.

 

Young blood

Hughton will surely be watching Konate with intrigue and at 19 he might just be worth a shot during the second half of the season.

Signing players in January is typically difficult and that could force Forest into a rethink.

Another stumbling block when it comes to attracting players is the league position which the Reds find themselves in.

Will a player coming from a Premier League club on loan, for example, really fancy potentially placing a relegation on their CV?

As a result, handing Konate a chance looks like an ideal solution to address the imbalance in Hughton’s midfield.

The youngster made a brief cameo appearance during his time at Le Havre and looks to have the attributes to go a long way.

Nottingham Forest v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship
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He fits the mould of a No.8 more than anyone in the current Forest ranks and could thrive in the first-team.

Konate is comfortable in possession, has a keen eye for goal and is constantly looking to get the ball forward.

In recent times the answer to Forest’s questions have typically involved a glut of pointless signings.

Now, the answer to a big Hughton problem could be staring him right in the face and crucially, he won’t cost the club a penny.

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