This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Alex Mighten will be keen to make an impact at Nottingham Forest between now and the end of the season.
It has been another year in first-team football for Mighten, who has netted his first professional goal and has scored his first goal at the City Ground this season.
But the winger has struggled to regular game time under Chris Hughton. Despite making 14 appearances in the Championship this season, he has made only seven league starts in total.
Away from the City Ground, we have seen Brennan Johnson thrive out on loan at Lincoln City this season, and the winger will undoubtedly be a key part of Hughton’s plans for next season.
Should Mighten look to follow in his footsteps and spend a full season out on loan in 2021/22? We discuss…
A lot depends on the Knockaert situation.
Forest need to make a decision on whether to sign the winger permanently from Fulham this summer, and if they do, it may be best for Mighten to move out on loan.
The youngster has shown flashes of genuine quality this season and it’s quite clear that he is a player who has a lot of potential to grow and develop into a really top player.
Though, as it stands, he’s not getting frequent game-time and he’s at the sort of age where you should be building up your experience playing first-team football.
If Hughton is biding his time with Mighten this season with a view of utilising him more from next season then he should obviously stay, but there are strong reasons to see him go out on loan.
We’ve seen the success Brennan Johnson has had on loan away from Forest at Lincoln, Mighten could follow suit next term.
I think it is something that could be worth considering for Forest.
Mighten is clearly a player who possesses a good deal of potential, who could certainly be an asset going forward at The City Ground, but at 18-years-old, there should be no pressure on him to get to that point just yet.
Indeed, you do feel as though the attacker could benefit from some more regular football out on loan elsewhere to help him improve his game, something he hasn’t really been able to get in Chris Hughton’s side so far this season.
However, you feel that Forest should only be willing to let Mighten make that temporary move away in the summer if they are confident they have enough attacking options not to leave themselves short as a result of his absence, amid some uncertainty around the futures of the likes of Glenn Murray at the club beyond the end of this season.
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This will be a major decision that Chris Hughton needs to get right in the summer, if Nottingham Forest can make some decent attacking additions then it would be beneficial for them to allow the 18-year-old the chance to go out and get some regular guaranteed game time elsewhere next term.
However, Mighten has shown that he can be a quality performer on his day and when the Reds need him and therefore he is still a quality option to keep around the squad in the event of injuries. Some supporters might even feel he should be in contention to start more often than he does at the moment.
Forest have already seen the benefit of loaning players out on loan, with Brannan Johnson enjoying a fine season out on loan with Lincoln City in League One. He will likely return next term full of confidence and ready to impress Hughton.
Mighten has plenty of time to impress over the coming years, and if Hughton does not think he is ready at this stage to be a regular starter for them then why not loan him out and get confidence into him.