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Garry Birtles delivers verdict on big dilemma Nottingham Forest face with Lewis Grabban



Former Nottingham Forest forward Garry Birtles believes Lewis Grabban shouldn’t be offered a new contract at this stage and to wait and see what happens in January instead, speaking on Nottinghamshire Live’s Garibaldi Red Podcast.

These comments come despite the 33-year-old’s goalscoring record in the Championship this term, with his penalty against Hull City at the weekend bringing his tally up to 10 goals in 21 league appearances, also providing the assist for Brennan Johnson’s winner against a tough Tigers side after seeing them take the lead through Keane-Lewis Potter.

Following a disappointing 2020/21 campaign, scoring just six times and seeing his side hold the joint-second worst attacking record in the second tier, he has bounced back superbly to become Forest’s man talisman again and has stepped up well to compensate for Lyle Taylor’s underwhelming form.

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Have Nottingham Forest signed a player from Watford in the last five seasons?

A proven goalscorer throughout his career in the EFL at various clubs including AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City, the reason why he arrived at the City Ground for a sizeable £6m fee back in 2018, many fans will want to see the experienced front man tied down to a new deal as he continues to look sharp despite approaching his 34th birthday.

As things stand, he is set to leave the East Midlands outfit on the expiration of his contract in the summer, leaving the Reds with very few options in attack if he was to be released.

But Forest legend Birtles believes they should hold off on offering any new contracts to players at this stage including Grabban, as he delivered his verdict on this matter on the Garibaldi Red Podcast.

He said: “I wouldn’t be putting a contract in front of anyone right now. Let’s see who comes and goes in January.

“There’s a lot of the season to go still and Steve will want improvements. That’s what will see managers give new contracts. How players react to demands.

“He’ll have notes on every player and if they’re learning and doing what is wanted. I’m really interested to see what happens in January.”

The Verdict:

A very mixed reaction from Forest fans is likely to come from this one – because a lot of fans will be desperate to see him extend his stay at the City Ground after seeing him thrive under Steve Cooper this season.

Welshman Cooper may want to freshen up his squad in January, but Grabban seems to be a key part of the 42-year-old’s plans as one of the first names on the teamsheet and rightly so, because it would be madness to drop him considering the lack of options they have up top.

Forest tried and failed to bring in an orthodox centre-forward during the summer window and that looked set to cost them after such a poor start to the 2021/22 season – but with the January window coming up – they will be given a second chance to rectify this issue.

With his experience, he’s also likely to be a key figure and leader in the dressing room – and if a young loan forward was to come in – he would only be a great help to them as a prolific and consistent striker himself.

Adam Idah and Marcus Forss have both been linked with moves to the City Ground in recent weeks, so having someone like Grabban around in case they misfire could be crucial to their top-six hopes.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Garry Birtles delivers verdict on big dilemma Nottingham Forest face with Lewis Grabban

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