Signing Rhian Brewster from Sheffield United always looked like a bit of a pipe dream for Nottingham Forest, even before he scored the first goal of Paul Heckingbottom’s tenure.
Our sources revealed earlier in November that Steve Cooper, who is now a few months into his Forest career, was keen to link up with Brewster again after their success together at Swansea City and that he was lining up a January swoop.
The Blades allowing the 21-year-old to swap Bramall Lane for the City Ground and strengthen a play-off rival would be a questionable one, though on the back of the press conference the club hierarchy gave follow Heckingbottom’s appointment perhaps it is best not to rule anything out.
However, Brewster starting the new manager’s first game in charge and finding the net looks a setback for Forest’s chance of a deal – and reports elsewhere have suggested as much.
It’s clear to see why Cooper was keen to reunite with the former Liverpool forward but just because he looks set to be unavailable doesn’t mean that the Reds should ignore their issue in the frontline.
The goals have dried up for Forest in recent weeks, having bagged just one in three games since the international break, and given how difficult they’ve been to beat since the Welsh coach took charge if they can put things right in the final third they’ll be in a fantastic position to make a serious play-off push.
In Lewis Grabban, the Reds have a tried and tested Championship goalscorer and their skipper looks to have rediscovered his touch in front of goal at least partially under Cooper but he’s not exactly red hot and that makes the form of the other option a concern.
Beyond a freak nine-minute cameo when he bagged against a Bristol City team all too happy to roll over, Lyle Taylor’s scored just once all season and hasn’t looked like the striker he was at Charlton Athletic.
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At 31, he’s not exactly an option for the future either and though it seems Brewster is out of reach, signing a young and hungry striker to provide cover and competition needs to still be a priority for Cooper.
Get the right player in and Forest should be well equipped to make a run for the top six in 2022.
A good January window could be vital for the Reds and for Cooper.