Chris Hughton will have a number of decisions to make on some of his Nottingham Forest players’ futures this summer.
Since the start of the summer transfer window up until now, Forest have made 17 new signings. Four of those have been made by Hughton, with 13 being made under the previous managerial regime as they looked to find a cure for last season’s top-six hangover.
Those changes have ultimately failed to pay off, with Forest’s season threatening to fizzle out as they continue to languish in the bottom half of the Championship table.
One player whose future will be considered by both himself and the club this summer is Glenn Murray.
Quiz: Did Nottingham Forest ever loan out these 16 players?
The 37-year-old reunited with his former manager in January, penning a short-term deal until the end of the season from Brighton following a disappointing loan spell at Watford in the first half of the campaign.
Murray netted a brace on his full Forest debut in a 3-0 away win over Wycombe. Since then, the performances have been there, but the goals haven’t.
In total, Murray has made 12 appearances for Forest and eight of those have been starts, with Lewis Grabban recently coming back into the fold and starting Forest’s last two games as well as reclaiming the captain’s armband.
Murray remains laid back when it comes to discussions over an extended stay at the City Ground, but if a fresh agreement cannot be met, Forest will have other alternatives on their radar. Who should be on that list?
This signing would see Forest go down a route which has now really been explored since they brought Britt Assombalonga to the club from Peterborough United in 2014.
Pigott is one of the more potent strikers in League One, and could be available to sign on a free transfer with his contract at AFC Wimbledon up in the summer.
The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals in 34 League One appearances this season, despite Wimbledon battling relegation and sitting 23rd in the league standings after 35 outings.
Pigott would represent an unproven option at this level, but there would be an element of excitement about him if he were to make the move to the City Ground. At 27, he’s in his prime and will be more than eager to make the step up a level.
This season’s impressive goalscoring tally isn’t a fluke, either. 15 goals were scored in League One in 2018/19, and he found the net seven times before the season was cut short and curtailed last term.
On a free transfer, it could be worth a punt to bring in one of the more impressive strikers in the third tier for nothing.
Another exciting addition from League One would be Luke Jephcott. Given the season he’s had for Plymouth Argyle, his signature is likely to be contested for by a number of high-profile sides this summer.
Jephcott has had an excellent couple of seasons at Argyle. 2019/20 was his breakthrough campaign, scoring seven goals in 14 games before the League Two season was curtailed and Ryan Lowe’s side won automatic promotion to League One.
This season, the 21-year-old has gone from strength to strength. 18 goals have been scored in all competitions, with 16 of those coming in only 33 league outings.
The next step for Jephcott could be the Championship. He’s caught the eye in the third tier, and is likely to have many teams after him this summer.
The Athletic have previously reported that Forest have kept tabs on Jephcott this season, and whether they back their interest up with a formal offer this summer remains to be seen.
It would be hard not to get excited by this one, though. The forward has proven to be a fearless, raw talent who would certainly give defenders a lot to contend with if he made the move to the City Ground.
Exploring the loan market could also be an option for Chris Hughton, especially after seeing the impact James Garner has had since arriving on loan from Manchester United in January.
Idah is held in high regard by Norwich City and is one of the Canaries’ rising stars.
He made 16 appearances in all competitions last season as Norwich were relegated from the Premier League, netting a hat-trick in a FA Cup victory over Preston North End.
The 20-year-old has made 17 appearances this season, scoring two goals in the Championship under Daniel Farke. He’s also been given his first taste of international football with the Republic of Ireland, which gives us a measure of how well he’s developing at Carrow Road.
But with Norwich looking set for the Premier League after a remarkable campaign, you do have to question Idah’s chances of regular game time next season. A loan move could be ideal for his development, and even though he’d technically be Forest’s player for one season, he could have a real impact.