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…
In an attempt to address last season’s poor goalscoring record, Nottingham Forest have submitted a €3 million bid for Croatian forward Sandro Kulenovic, as reported by Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti.
In a Championship campaign where only Derby scored fewer league goals, it seems that attacking reinforcements are currently being prioritised.
Lyle Taylor struggled for form last time out following his summer move from Charlton, whilst Lewis Grabban also found it difficult to make much of an impact in front of goal.
Veteran striker Glenn Murray hung up his boots this summer, meaning that a forward was expected at Forest, but it remains to be seen how many.
With Forest trying their luck with Kulenovic, we asked some of the writers at FLW to share their thoughts on the potential move…
It’s quite clear Nottingham Forest need some attacking firepower with their front line letting them down so badly last season.
Considering they have the likes of Joe Lolley, Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor, this is quite a surprise but if the East Midlands side want to vastly improve on their lower midtable Championship finish last season, they need to get at least a couple of signings in to address this problem and provide competition for those who misfired last term.
The return of 20-year-old Brennan Johnson from his loan at Lincoln City will be a boost, but they need someone like Sandro Kulenovic to come in and finish those chances if they are to capitalise on the winger’s creativity.
With the Croatian adding four assists to his seven league goals during the 2020/21 campaign, it’s clear he can also be a creative force for Forest, not just a poacher.
When you’re playing for a side that has struggled as much as the Championship side, you need someone to do both and that’s exactly what they’ll get with his height, strength and ability in the air, standing at 6’3.
Therefore, this is a deal they should look to get done and a loan-to-buy agreement sounds like the most sensible option at this moment in time with the pandemic’s continuing effects on club finances.
This seems like it could be a decent enough addition for Nottingham Forest if they are able to convince the forward to make the switch from Dinamo Zagreb this summer. The Reds cearly need to add some extra firepower to their squad having struggled in front of goal last term and the 21-year-old is a player that has the ability to add vital goals and assists for them in the Championship.
It would be a bit of a transfer gamble considering that Kulenovic is still inexperienced and has never played in the Championship before. However, he is at least the right sort of age for Forest to develop over the coming seasons and if they can get the best out of him then there is even the potential for his re-sale value to be high.
Kulenovic might take time to adapt to life in English football and therefore Forest would need to be prepared to remain patient with the 21-year-old. However, he has shown with his form and goal and assists return at Dinamo Zagreb that he could be a very useful option to have in their squad.
This seems like the sort of signing that Nottingham Forest can expect to make more in the future with Dane Murphy at the club. If it pays off as well as some of Barnsley’s signings did under him then the Reds would have got themselves a very good player.
This is exactly the type of signing that Forest should be making – not only exploring the European market but also bringing in young, hungry players with potential resale value.
The Zian Flemming rumour was an exciting one having netted for fun in the Eredivisie from midfield last season and Kulenovic is in a similar mould – he’s just 21 years old and scored seven times in Croatia’s top flight in 2020-21, whilst also playing in Europe for Dinamo Zagreb as well.
Kulenovic is clearly a talent so it would be a surprise if Zagreb were to sell, but standing at 6ft 3in the Croat is the type of striker that Chris Hughton has been missing.
Neither Lyle Taylor or Lewis Grabban are a target man type of player so Kulenovic could offer something different. He would be a good signing if Forest can get it over the line and the reports from Croatia sound promising, so the club could have a new talisman next season.