Nottingham Forest Under-23s kicked off their home campaign in Premier League 2 last night and for Harry Arter, it represented a new low. Forest’s young guns were held to a 0-0 draw against Southampton, despite a determined and gutsy display.
The experienced midfielder was handed the number four shirt by boss Andy Reid. His night didn’t really go according to plan though as he was cautioned and then hooked on the hour, replaced by Josh Barnes.
Perhaps interestingly, Forest looked more likely with the youngster on the pitch during the final 30 minutes. Arter has been bombed out of the first-team reckoning and this wasn’t a particularly impressive showing.
What’s the story with Arter at Forest?
The tenacious performer was signed by Sabri Lamouchi during the summer of 2020. He played 29 times as Fulham won promotion during 2019/20 and on the face of things, it seemed as though Forest had pulled off a real coup.
His time at the City Ground has been nothing short of a disaster though. Arter made 14 appearances last season but has never really convinced Chris Hughton of his quality.
This season, the boss has spoken at length about his squad missing any real experience. Despite that, Arter remains out of the picture and the 31-year-old looks to be on borrowed time at Forest.
Will Forest look to offload Arter?
They’d love to, but they won’t. According to reputable journalist Dan Taylor of The Athletic, Forest are paying out £2 million a year to Arter. That equates to around £38,000-a-week and finding a club willing to pay him that won’t come easily.
Forest’s new CEO and recruitment team will hope to ensure this type of deal is a thing of the past. An emphasis looks set to be placed on younger players coming in and ones with significant sell-on value.
The Reds would dearly love to offload Arter but for now, it seems unlikely that he will be going anywhere, with two years to run on his current deal.
What does the future hold for Arter?
Who knows. On his showing against Southampton last night, Arter might not be called upon by Reid all too often. Barnes was bright and lively when he came on and is seemingly in for a bright future.
Forest have the likes of Oli Hammond too. He has now penned a professional deal with the club and looks set for a bright future.
Having the likes of Arter on a substantial wage has clearly hampered Forest when it comes to their own recruitment for this season.
Lessons need to be learnt from the fiasco and based on last night’s performance, the future looks extremely bleak for Arter at the City Ground