Nottingham Forest are understood to be monitoring Wayne Hennessey’s situation at Crystal Palace.
Sources have exclusively told Football League World that Forest, Preston North End and Middlesbrough are keeping an eye on the Wales international’s situation, with his deal set to be up in the summer.
Hennessey joined Palace from Wolves in 2014, and has since racked up 132 appearances for the Eagles, keeping 37 clean sheets.
The 34-year-old hasn’t played a single Premier League game this season, though, having spent most of the season on the sidelines through injury.
With his contract up in the summer, Hennessey could be set to leave Palace on a free transfer, with Forest understood to be among those interested.
Here, we look at two pros and two cons to Forest signing Hennessey for nothing this summer…
Pro: Financial reasons
This summer, it is likely to be a tougher market than usual.
Clubs have recorded huge losses due to the global pandemic, and won’t be able to splash the cash as much as they have in previous years.
Forest have been no strangers to putting their money where their mouth is in recent years, but the signing of Hennessey would make sense financially.
He would be available to sign on a free transfer, meaning that no transfer fee would have to be commanded, and he may not demand high wages due to coming to the end of his career.
They will have to recruit wisely this summer, and value for money wise, this could be shrewd.
Pro: Hughton’s own man
Generally, when a manager looks to oversee a rebuild at a particular club, he often likes to bring his own goalkeeper in.
This would be the case here. Brice Samba is a very talented goalkeeper, but can be quite erratic and was Sabri Lamouchi’s signing, not Chris Hughton’s.
Hughton likes his teams to build from the back and having a good talker and communicator in goal is key.
It is important, then, that Hughton has someone in-between the sticks who he can trust, and having played numerous times in England’s top-flight as well as on the international stage, Hennessey would fit the bill.
Con: Where does this leave Samba?
Samba is one of Forest’s better goalkeepers over the last decade.
The 26-year-old was named in the PFA Team of the Season for the Championship last term, getting in ahead of some decent goalkeepers in the process.
This season, his form has been largely consistent and he has kept Forest in games at times. His shot-stopping is superb, and his distribution is up there with the best in the league.
At times, he is quite error prone and is quite erratic, but confidence isn’t a bad thing and he trusts himself when others might not.
If Hennessey were to come in, would that be as first-choice? If so, where does that leave Forest’s current number one?
Con: History repeating itself?
Forest have been known for going down what is perceived to be the wrong direction in recent years, in terms of signing ageing, experienced players who are coming down from the Premier League.
For instance, in the summer, they signed Jack Colback and Harry Arter, who have barely featured this season due to injury and are likely to be picking up a good wage whilst on the sidelines.
Whilst it may not necessarily matter as it’s not an outfield position, it remains to be seen whether Forest stick with this policy of signing established pros, rather than look to the future.