Nottingham Forest fans haven’t had much to shout about this season and the club haven’t yet mathematically secured their championship status for next season.
The Reds will be relatively confident of another season in the Championship with the club now 13 points clear of the relegation zone.
This after an undefeated week which started with a solid 1-0 away win at play-off contenders Cardiff City, and ended with a 0-0 away at Bristol City, which was the least The Reds deserved from that particular game.
A ruthless attacking performance in-between saw the Reds see off Queens Park Rangers by 3 goals to 1.
Manager Chris Hughton will have already started planning for next season and in particular how Forest can improve to avoid another season hovering around the bottom three.
Ahead of the summer transfer window we’ve taken a look at five areas The Reds must address.
Cyrus Christie has been a regular since arriving on loan from Fulham back in August, but has received his critics particularly in the first half of the season.
However, since Christmas, Christie has put in some consistently good performances particularly going forwards and linking up with either Sammy Ameobi or Anthony Knockaert who have been the two most consistent operators on the right-hand side of midfield.
With Christie’s loan agreement coming to an end and Fulham’s top flight stay looking like a short-lived experience, a discussion needs to be had on whether Forest can obtain the full back’s services again next season or whether Scott Parker sees The Republic of Ireland international as part of his plans as the London club bid to challenge for promotion.
The introduction of James Garner in January on loan from Manchester United seems to be one of the signings of the season with the 19-year-old proving to be one of the best all round midfielders in the league during his spell with the Reds.
— MU Comps (@CompsMU) April 11, 2021
The England youth international has scored 3 goals and has 1 assist to his name since arriving in January and will definitely be a player Chris Hughton will look to bring back again next season. But with the player’s agent saying in a recent interview that several Premier League clubs are eyeing up the midfielder, The Reds may end up missing out.
Samba Sow’s contract is also coming to an end, that leaves Forest with just Cafu, Ryan Yates and Jack Colback as options in central midfield.
The Reds will need at least one new midfielder, and I’m sure the name that comes to the mind of Forest fans will be James Garner. But other alternatives must be considered.
There is some real attacking threat in the Forest ranks and the inclusion of Anthony Knockaert on loan from Fulham, added to the talent of Joe Lolley, Sammy Ameobi, and young prospect Alex Mighten have left Chris Hughton spoiled for choice in the wide areas.
𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗴 🥜 𝗧𝘂𝗿𝗻 🌭 𝗡𝗼 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀 👀
— Nottingham Forest FC 💙 (@NFFC) March 1, 2021
However, those options haven’t had the desired effect and it has been creating chances and scoring goals that have been the main problem this season.
Forest are currently the fifth lowest scorers in the division with an average of 0.83 goals per game.
Anthony Knockaert looks unlikely to sign permanently with his parent club Fulham wanting around £10m for his services.
That will most likely price Forest out of any deal, and force the club to look elsewhere.
Forest did have a prominent interest in Peterborough United forward Siriki Dembele and may be an option the Reds will revisit as they look to build a squad capable of challenging the top six.
The club looked to have solved this problem area in January with the arrival of Filip Krovinovic on loan from Benfica.
The Croatian has been impressive since his arrival and looks to be the calming influence in the final third that Forest have been craving.
Yes, lads! 💪🔴🌳 #NFFC
📸: filipkrovinovic on IG pic.twitter.com/dOCppwxzfv
— Nottingham Forest FC 💙 (@NFFC) April 5, 2021
The 25-year-old will be allowed to leave the Portuguese outfit in the summer and will be in manager Chris Hughton’s thoughts come the summer.
However, another loanee Luke Freeman hasn’t had the same influence. And will most likely return to his parent club Sheffield United as they prepare for a rebuilding season in the Championship after confirmation of their relegation from the top flight.
With Glenn Murray seen as very much a short-term fix to help steer the Reds away from the relegation zone, it is unlikely the 37-year-old will be at The City Ground next season.
Lewis Grabban remains Forest’s first choice striker, but with the 33-year-old having an injury hit season, leaving him with only four goals to his name, the Reds will be looking to add extra fire power.
— Nottingham Forest FC 💙 (@NFFC) April 6, 2021
Lyle Taylor doesn’t quite seem to be in Chris Hughton’s plans and has been left with just cameo appearances from the bench since arrival of Glenn Murray, and the return to full fitness of Lewis Grabban.
The Reds have previously shown interest of Blackpool striker Jerry Yates who has been nothing sort of prolific during this season’s league One campaign.
The 5’9 striker has scored 18 goals in 34 appearances and could be the man to help fire Forest into the top six, next season.