James McAtee was linked with a move to Nottingham Forest in the summer but chose to stay at Manchester City and fight for a place.
Now, he’s rejected further advances from clubs to take him on loan and continues to back himself to win a City shirt.
The Reds weren’t in the mix to sign him this time. Rangers, Swansea, Bournemouth, QPR and Huddersfield did all make advances to take him until the end of the season, however.
McAtee is set for a bright future. The England under-20 player has been a revelation for the under-23 team this season, scoring 14 goals from 15 appearances.
The 19-year-old has also made some first-team appearances. He has played three games in Pep Guardiola’s team, each time as a substitute.
It is perhaps a surprise that McAtee hasn’t headed out on loan. His chances at the Etihad Stadium do look particularly hampered and he won’t want his development to stutter.
McAtee typically operates in the middle of the park. As a result, it’s not really a surprise that Forest didn’t go back in the race, with Steve Cooper well-stocked in the engine room.
It will be interesting to see how much game time the youngster will get between now and the end of the season.
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It does seem as though City aren’t overly bothered about letting McAtee out on loan. That said, if they do change their tact, Forest must ensure they are ready to pounce.
Cooper is renowned for getting the best out of young talent and Guardiola would want the best for McAtee if he ever decided to let him out on loan.
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Forest do appear to have changed their transfer strategy. The Reds now attract younger talent and Cooper is working well in tandem with CEO Dane Murphy.
McAtee might go on loan next season. If he does, Forest should place themselves at the front of the queue.