Blackburn Rovers director of football Gregg Broughton has claimed that the EFL outfit are fighting a losing battle to sign Lewis O’Brien from Nottingham Forest. The Reds sanctioned a move for the midfielder to sign terms at Ewood Park on loan during transfer deadline day.
A problem soon arose with the deal. Blackburn submitted the wrong paperwork during a frantic rush towards the deadline. It saw O’Brien left in limbo and he’s now been omitted from Forest’s 25-man squad and if the appeal is rejected, he will be sidelined for 2022/23.
The fact that O’Brien was made available for loan is not really a surprise. Remo Freuler, Orel Mangala, Ryan Yates and Danilo are all ahead of him in the pecking order; with Jack Colback seemingly favoured more by Steve Cooper. Cheikhou Kouyate is also on his way back.
O’Brien made 13 appearances for the Reds during the first half of the campaign. A large number of those came from the bench, however, and perhaps loaning him out did make perfect sense from the club’s perspective.
Blackburn have until 4pm today to submit all the relevant paperwork to the EFL. Broughton isn’t hopeful though and believes history won’t help their case.
He told Lancashire Live: “To be honest, I’m not very confident. Not because I think we have really good reason because I think we do but my understanding is nobody has ever won an appeal against a late submission to the Football League so we’re going to have to set a record to do it this time around.”
Blackburn director says new ground will need to be broken to sign O’Brien from Forest
The optimism here is that common sense will prevail. It does perhaps suggest that a loan window could remain open for EFL clubs to still do some business after the top flight have sorted their squads.
O’Brien will be gutted. It was a brilliant move for him to sign for the Reds after losing to them in the Championship play-off final last season but an illness robbed him of a regular run.
The 23-year-old is far too good to be sat in the stands for the second half of the season. As a result, everyone at Forest will have their fingers crossed that the deal can still go through.