Nottingham Forest could potentially come up against their one-time transfer target Zian Flemming in the Premier League next season with Burnley now pursuing the Millwall star.
Unless you’d spent much of the previous two seasons obsessing other highlights of Fortuna Sittard’s Eredivisie matches – like your humble correspondent – you’d have been forgiven for reacting to the news that Millwall had signed Zian Flemming during the summer of 2022 with little more than a half-interested shrug.
But there was a reason why Flemming’s departure had elicited such a pained reaction from the Fortuna Sittard supporters. They knew that they were losing. They knew what Millwall were getting.
And what they were getting was a one-man mass-production line of goalscoring opportunities. A man who finished his debut season at the New Den as the Championship’s most prolific central midfielder, scoring 15 times in total for Gary Rowett.
Nottingham Forest wanted Millwall’s Zian Flemming
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“Such an intelligent player. You can tell him, and he gets it. He can action those instructions really well on the pitch.
“In terms of value for money, he would have to be right up there (with my best ever signings). Zian is a good player. He’s a very good player. For the price we paid for him, it’s a snip.
“He’s shown he’s got the character, he’s got the physicality, and that bit of game-changing quality. I’m really pleased with him.”
‘I wanted to go there’
Forest, still under the stewardship of Chris Hughton at the time, saw three separate bids rejected by Fortuna Sittard. Much to Flemming’s frustration.
“I honestly indicated that I wanted to go there” the Amsterdam-born 24-year-old told Voetbal Primeur.
Flemming could have spent last season wearing Garibaldi red in the Premier League had Fortuna caved, with Burnley now offering him the chance to make his mark in the top-flight instead. TEAMtalk report that Vincent Kompany’s newly-promoted Championship champions have made a ‘couple of bids’.
Whether Forest renew their interest remains to be seen.
There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes at the City Ground since 2021 – Chris Hughton one of many now long gone – but a Forest side who averaged one goal a game last term could still have a place for a highly-technical attacking midfielder with a fearsome shot from in and around the penalty area.