Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Matt Crooks from Rotherham when Sabri Lamouchi was in charge at the club. Now, he’s claimed an unwanted first during the 2021/22 Championship campaign and Chris Wilder won’t be happy.

Crooks was a £1 million target for Forest back in the summer of 2020. Lamouchi only lasted four games of that season but the Rotherham Advertiser claimed he was firmly on Forest’s radar prior to his departure.

The versatile performer eventually signed for Middlesbrough in the summer of 2021. Neil Warnock pounced to sign a player who frankly typifies everything that the 73-year-old boss is all about.

Crooks has enjoyed a solid maiden campaign at the Riverside Stadium. He has scored nine goals and claimed three assists; with Wilder typically using him as a central midfielder.

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The 28-year-old has set an unwanted first in this season’s Championship, however. Playing in the midfield engine room has seen him make himself known to referees and he recently picked up his 15th caution of the campaign.

That means that Crooks will serve a three-match ban as a pivotal stage of the campaign. Boro felt his absence on Monday when they produced a drab performance during a 2-0 home defeat to promotion rivals Huddersfield.

Forest perhaps did well to avoid Crooks signing

Jack Colback and Ryan Yates are two players typically renowned for their yellow cards. But, this season neither player has been too bad when it comes to being scribbled in the referee’s notebook.

Colback does appear further down the list. He has nine yellow cards, with James Garner and Joe Worrall both picking up eight bookings during the campaign.

The 32-year-old is renowned for picking up needless cautions. This season, however, he appears to have adapted his game and he should now avoid the three-match ban for 15 yellows this season.

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As for Crooks, he could have cost Boro dearly. They’ve slipped out of the race for the play-offs and will likely need to win their remaining four matches to make it.

The midfielder will definitely miss two of those games and Wilder won’t be impressed at the fact his main midfielder has picked up 15 yellow cards this season.

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