Nottingham Forest are in the race to sign Groningen star Ahmed El Messaoudi, according to Belgian outlet GVA.
It’s unlikely to be a link met with too much excitement among supporters. Forest have been stung with the overseas market before and this could show some resemblance of deja vu.
The Reds are yet to add anyone to their ranks this summer. Chris Hughton will want reinforcements, but the club could bide their time.
With that in mind, we set to work trying to find out more information on the player linked with Forest.
Last season he scored eight goals and claimed two assists. Aside from that though, we can’t claim to know too much about the player.
As a result, we sat down with Dutch football expert, Marc Lambert. He gave us the lowdown on El Messaoudi and advised us what he might bring to the City Ground.
NFN: Who is Ahmed El Massaoudi and where does he play?
ML: “He’s a defensive midfielder, who can play centrally in midfield, but also in defence. He was born in Belgium with Moroccan heritage. At Groningen, he plays in a more attacking role and played a part in 10 goal contributions last season.”
NFN: Where would he fit in at Forest and what are his main strengths?
ML: “He boasts a tremendous passing radar and his crossing is very good. He’s technically composed and shows strong concentration skills. He’s also got a decent work ethic and puts a shift in for his team. I’d imagine if Forest signed him, they’d look to use him as a midfielder but they could benefit from his versatility.”
NFN: “Naturally he’ll have some weaknesses. What are they?
ML: “El Massaoudi isn’t particularly strong when it comes to set-pieces. He could also be better when it comes to progressing the ball via long balls. It’s fair to say his defensive positioning in transition could be a lot better.”
NFN: Would Groningen be willing to sell him?
ML: “Well, he has one year left on his contract and finances are tough at the club. I believe if the offer is right, they will be willing to offload him this summer.
NFN: Finally, would he be a strong addition to the Forest ranks?
ML: “Possibly. I’m hesitant to commit either way though. Mike te Wierik went to Derbt County from the same club and was expected to flourish. He proved a complete flop and didn’t get many minutes in the end. Watch this space.”
Although the jury would remain out for a little while, this might not be such a bad signing after all.
He registered 10 goal contributions during 2020/21 and would definitely arrive on a crest of a wave.
At 25 he still has plenty of time on his side and with just a year on his contract, he’s hardly likely to cost a fortune.
Forest are short in midfield, with Ryan Yates, Cafu and the out of favour Jack Colback available as options to Hughton.
Supporters would certainly welcome some proven options signing this summer. That doesn’t mean they should completely discount the overseas market though.
If he does sign, the fan base will hope for more Cafu and Joao Carvalho and less Miguel Angel Guerrero and Gil Dias.
Based on what we’ve heard, El Messaoudi might just be a shrewd investment if Forest swoop this summer.
You can see more Dutch football insight by following Marc Lamberts on @lambertsmarc