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 have opened discussions with Southampton over a potential move for Will Smallbone this summer.
Here, we ask our FLW writers their verdict on if the 22-year old would be a good addition to Steve Cooper’s side…
There is certainly scope for Will Smallbone to come in at Nottingham Forest and exceed, especially if James Garner does not return to the Midlands.
A similar kind of player to the United loanee, with both emerging as excellent technicians, Smallbone could reach excellent heights with the Reds.
Forest will be looking to ensure that they avoid the Premier League drop when the new season gets underway, and whilst Smallbone does not offer too much experience, he is someone who can grow with the ambitions of the club.
It is no surprise to see Forest with an interest in Smallbone, and there is certainly scope for the young midfielder to emerge as an important part of the club’s midfield.
Will Smallbone has rarely featured so far for Southampton during his career, so a move over to Nottingham Forest could really allow the youngster to begin to thrive.
The 22-year-old does look like he has plenty of potential and the deal could end up paying off massively in the future. He’s impressed for the club’s reserve side and has looked solid when called upon in their first-team.
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The issue is that he has had to deal with plenty of time on the sidelines. Smallbone can’t get any experience of game-time whilst he is sat doing nothing so a deal to Forest could really benefit both parties.
Considering his experience and the fact he has a high ceiling too, it could be really shrewd deal for Forest. It’s a low risk and high reward signing and is exactly the type of player they should be targeting.
Whilst he could turn out to be a good addition to the club, I’d look elsewhere if I were Forest this summer.
Sure, they want to strengthen their squad, but they should be looking to do so with proven players at the very top level and unfortunately Smallbone has not proven that yet.
In the last three seasons, the 22-year-old has made just 16 Premier League appearances, with more of those coming in 19/20 than in 21/22
That is something I’d be wary of if I were Forest and given that Southampton finished 15th in the Premier League, and Smallbone can still not get a game for them, I’d question whether he is the calibre of player Forest should be targeting ahead of their Premier League return.