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
Nottingham Forest are now mathematically safe from relegation, with Chris Hughton’s attention now turning towards the summer transfer window.
Of course, they will be a focus on the final two games of the season as the Reds look to end the season strongly, but the main focus will be on trimming the squad and making new signings.
With five loanees set to return to parent clubs and seven players set to be out of contract, it looks set to be another summer of transition for the Reds.
One player whose future will be considered is Cyrus Christie. The full-back has spent this season on loan at the City Ground from Fulham, and has gradually improved over the course of the campaign.
Christie’s performances at the start of the season were shaky, but since the turn of the year, he has been a key player for the Reds at right-back.
Christie is out of contract in the summer, but Fulham do have an option to activate it by another year.
Here, we discuss whether Forest should look to extend Christie’s deal and turn it into a permanent one…
During the first half of the campaign, Christie struggled with his consistency and he was guilty of making a couple of individual errors but it has to be said he has improved a lot over the last few months.
The defender has been one of Forest’s best performers as they have turned around their form in the second half of the campaign and moved towards safety. As a result, he should be on their radar in the summer in terms of a potential permanent move.
Forest are going to need a new right-back, and Christie already knows the system and what Hughton is expecting from him. It would make sense therefore for him to be kept at the City Ground rather than the Reds having to bed in a new player again in his position next term.
The question will be, is Christie good enough to help Forest challenge for promotion next season? He has been involved in other sides have gone up before, so history suggests he is and therefore I would keep hold of him.
If this was being asked before the turn of the year I would have said absolutely not, but by all accounts, the Ireland international has performed really well in the second half of the season.
Christie brings a lot of senior experience at Championship level and whilst he’s no Matty Cash, who Forest made a lovely bit of money on, the 28-year-old is effective when on-song.
He provides a threat when he’s galloping forward and his five assists in the league this season only goes to show the kind of outlet he can provide if there’s someone in the box to finish the chances he’s creating.
With Christie’s Fulham contract expiring at the end of this season, Forest would not have to pay a transfer fee for his services so I think it’s a no-brainer to try and get him back.
Nottingham Forest quiz: Does the City Ground have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
Yes, if they can get a decent price for him.
Christie didn’t start the season particularly well but over the past few months his quality has shone through clearly and he’s become a dependable player in the Reds backline.
If they could bring him back and keep McKenna and Worrall, they’d have the makings of a very impressive defence.
Fulham look set to return to the Championship, however, and may feel he’d be a useful option for them.
That could make signing him difficult but Forest should still try, as long as it’s for a decent fee.