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 set to sign Arsenal youngster Jordi Osei-Totu on a season-long loan deal, according to a recent report from The Athletic.
Osei-Totu spent last year’s campaign on loan with fellow Championship side Cardiff City, but his spell with the Bluebirds was disrupted through injury.
He made nine appearances in total for Mick McCarthy’s side, as they narrowly missed out on a top-six finish in the second-tier last term.
Osei-Totu has impressed out on loan with German side VfL Bochum in the past, as he made 22 appearances for them during the 2019/20 season, where he chipped in with five goals and three assists.
A move to Nottingham Forest could be the ideal move for him this term, with the Reds looking to add much-needed depth to their defensive options for the 2021/22 campaign.
Chris Hughton’s men were beaten by Coventry City on the opening weekend of fixtures in the Championship, and will be looking to put together a positive run of form a the earliest of opportunities.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Nottingham Forest’s rumoured interest in signing Osei-Totu this summer, and whether or not he’d be a good addition to Chris Hughton’s side.
On the face of it, this seems like a positive addition.
As it stands, Jordan Gabriel is their only realistic option at right-back, with Carl Jenkinson not being given a squad number having been told to leave the club.
Competition is needed for Gabriel then, as he is still learning his trade and is the same age as Osei-Tutu.
Osei-Tutu is an attacking full-back who has played as a winger before, and a progressive ball carrier is exactly what suits Chris Hughton’s system.
But if it pushes Gabriel down the pecking order, it would be a bold move.
I was looking forward to seeing Osei-Tutu for Cardiff City last season after he impressed in Germany’s second tier for Bochum, however a bad hamstring injury really disrupted his season.
It was a shame for Osei-Tutu as he could have provided a real threat going forward for the Bluebirds at right-back, and his injury meant that Cardiff were left very short in that position.
Right-back is an area of the pitch that Nottingham Forest need to bolster – especially if they’re going to let Jordan Gabriel go – and it makes sense for Osei-Tutu to drop into the Championship again to try and get a full season under his belt.
The Arsenal man also provides good versatility as well by being able to play further up the pitch as a winger if needed, although Chris Hughton likes his wide players to cut inside with the ball whereas Osei-Tutu would be a more direct type of outlet.
As a Forest fan though you have to be fearful of his injury situation from last season though – Osei-Tutu’s biggest strength is his pace and picking up a serious hamstring problem so early in a career can be quite destabilising, so the Reds must be cautious if they do pursue a deal and make sure he is back to full fitness.
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I think he’s a good young player that would add to an area of the pitch that they need more depth in.
He didn’t play much whilst on loan at Cardiff so he could really do with getting a full season under his belt.
I think he will start pretty regularly if he does move to the City Ground, with Jordan Gabriel unlikely to hold down his spot long term.
Hughton has clearly identified the need to have two players for every position and moving forwards I think this will really benefit Forest.
It’s a low risk loan move and it ticks all the boxes for both clubs involved.