Nottingham Forest were keen to sign Croatian striker Sandro Kulenovic during the summer. The Croatia under-21 starlet rejected the advances from the Reds, however, and that might not be a bad thing.

Chris Hughton was firmly in the mix to land the striker. Dane Murphy took over and was a firm admirer of the Dinamo Zagreb player, immediately looking to sign him.

Kulenovic had other ideas though and despite a bid being accepted, he chose to stay in Croatia. Sportske claimed that he didn’t want to head to England for a season and signed for NK Lokomotiva instead.

His form with the Croatian top-flight outfit suggests that Forest – and Murphy – enjoyed a lucky escape in not signing the 21-year-old.

Forest Kulenovic
(Photo by Marcio Machado/Getty Images)

Last season he scored eight goals and claimed seven assists on loan with HNK Rijeka. As a result, Kulenovic looked like an attractive signing on the face of things.

This season has been a struggle though. He has scored just three goals in 12 appearances for his latest loan club, starting just four games for Lokomotiva.

Meanwhile, Lewis Grabban sits on eight goals and looks to have rediscovered his very best form in the Garibaldi. He has now gone past 50 Forest goals and remains the club’s primary talisman.

Lucky escape: Kulenovic not the answer for Forest

The Reds have had some players who have gone onto other clubs after being linked with the City Ground and done well. Kulenovic doesn’t look like being one of them.

Forest had agreed on a fee of £2.5 million to buy the player should the loan prove successful. On current form, he probably isn’t proving himself to be worth even half of that.

Forest Kulenovic
(Photo by Marko Lukunic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

Murphy’s transfer strategy of targeting young players looks wise. Kulenovic does fit the criteria, although not every player targeted will prove to be useful.

The challenge is getting more right than wrong and Forest shouldn’t spend too much time dwelling on Kulenovic rejecting their summer advances.

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