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…
Championship side Nottingham Forest could be set to move for Swansea City midfielder Jay Fulton in January if likely new manager Steve Cooper is appointed manager, according to The Sun on Sunday (19/9, page 61).
The 27-year-old and Cooper spent two years together at the Swansea.com Stadium between 2019 and 2021 before the latter’s departure in late-July, with the midfielder making 76 Championship appearances in those two campaigns and helping to guide the Swans to two consecutive play-off finishes.
Although Fulton was sent off in May’s play-off final at Wembley against Brentford, Cooper seemingly hasn’t been deterred by this and will look to recruit the man whose starting spot is currently under threat after the arrivals of Flynn Downes and Jamie Paterson in the summer.
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The former Scottish youth international’s game time will have also been adversely affected by Swansea City’s decision to retain captain and fellow central midfielder Matt Grimes, amid multiple bids from Championship rivals Fulham in the summer.
Grimes remaining in South Wales has potentially paved the way for Fulton, who found himself on the bench with another competitor in Korey Smith against Luton Town, to leave Russell Martin’s side in the winter window.
With Steve Cooper set to come in at the City Ground to succeed Chris Hughton, a move as early as January could potentially happen – but is this a good signing for Forest? Do they need the 27-year-old?
We asked three of our writers at Football League World these key questions.
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This is a signing that would make sense for Nottingham Forest should Steve Cooper get the job following Chris Hughton’s departure as is widely expected at the moment.
Obviously, Cooper knows Fulton’s game inside and out after working with him in the last two seasons at Swansea, and he handed him a key role within his side as the Swans reached the play-offs in back-to-back campaigns.
Fulton has built up a lot of Championship experience over the last three seasons with Swansea and he is a player that would be able to bring a lot to the table for Forest in the midfield area.
The 27-year-old is capable of winning the ball back in the middle of the park on a regular basis with him having won 5.7 duels per game for Swansea last term in the Championship, and also averaged 2.8 tackles per match.
The midfielder is also an effective distributor in possession and helps to build the play through the thirds, something that could be crucial to instilling Cooper’s style of play on this Nottingham Forest side.
The question will be though whether he is perhaps a little too similar to the options that Forest already have in the midfield position, although some supporters might feel they need an upgrade on Ryan Yates.
If Forest do appoint Cooper and he wants to sign Fulton then they have to trust his judgement and provide the funds needed to bring him in.
Yes, this would be a good signing.
Whilst Forest already have a few midfield options, you need to trust the new manager and he clearly feels that Fulton would add something different to the team.
Crucially, he’s a player that Cooper knows very well too and he could be key to implementing the style that the new boss will want.
In terms of a fee, it shouldn’t be a ridiculous one and Forest would be getting a player who has done well in the Championship and will be able to make an instant impact.
Forest need to back the boss and leave him too it, so if he feels Fulton is the answer, this is a deal that they should be able to get done in January.
This certainly looks like it could be a good signing for Forest to make.
Cooper obviously knows Fulton well from their time together at Swansea, with the midfielder playing an important role in helping the Swans reach the Championship play-off final last season under the seemingly soon-to-be new Forest boss.
As a result, a move to The City Ground to work under Cooper again could help to bring the best out of the 27-year-old, which would in turn be a welcome lift to this Forest side on the whole, given his proven ability to make an impact at this level.
Indeed, the addition of an extra option such as Fulton in midfield could be useful, particularly from a long term perspective when you consider James Garner is only on loan from Manchester United, so it feels like this could be one worth pursuing if Cooper does indeed take over at The City Ground.