After leaving Middlesbrough at the end of last season, free agent George Friend appears to be a man in demand ahead of the 2020/21 season.
Football Insider have reported that Nottingham Forest are one of a number of second-tier sides, including Swansea and Birmingham, interested in the experienced second-tier left-back.
After missing out on the play-offs on the final day of the season, Forest will be desperate to put things right this time around, and the transfer window may prove crucial.
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But would he prove to be a good signing for Sabri Lamouchi’s side?
I don’t think this would be a signing for the starting XI.
Friend is a solid Championship player, but Forest’s defensive performance were good in 2019/20 on the whole and focus there is going to be on retaining the core of Lamouchi’s backline.
For me, Forest’s money is better spent elsewhere, probably in the midfield.
Friend reminds me of the recently-departed Danny Fox, who clearly didn’t fit the bill at the City Ground.
In truth, I don’t see it happening. If it does, I’d be surprised.
This is a move that could work for Forest but I can’t see Friend as anything but a back-up.
The 32-year-old has got a lot of Championship experience and has been a reliable defender over the years but I think he’s past his best.
His consistency and versatility make him a really useful squad player, and he has experience to secure promotion, but I don’t think he will be displacing Yuri Ribeiro in the side.
The Portuguese defender really grew into an impressive performer as the 2019/20 season wore on and I think we’ll see him as a regular fixture again next term.
He’d be a solid addition to their team.
I’m not sure Friend would be a regular starter for Nottingham Forest though, as I think Sabri Lamouchi has better options available to him at this moment in time.
But on a rotational basis, Friend could be a useful option to have in the Forest squad ahead of the new season.
His experience would be useful in aiding the development of the younger members of the squad, who could learn a considerable amount from the Middlesbrough defender.
He’ll surely be tempted by a move to Nottingham Forest during the summer transfer window though, as they’ve got a real chance of winning promotion next term.