Former Nottingham Forest forward Garry Birtles has urged the club to tie Ben Osborn down to a new deal, after speaking to the Nottingham Post.
The homegrown star has been a fantastic servant to the East Midlands club, making over 220 appearances for the Reds since coming through the ranks at the Nigel Doughty Academy.
The 24-year-old has been a regular for Forest under both Aitor Karanka and Martin O’Neill this season, making 44 appearances for the Reds in all competitions.
The versatile midfielder’s contract at the City Ground doesn’t run out until next summer, but after talisman Joe Lolley put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with the club, Birtles has urged his former club to do the same.
Speaking in his latest Nottingham Post column, the 62-year-old insisted that the Reds would miss his underrated contribution, if he was lured away by another team.
He said: “While Forest will be very glad to have Lolley tied down to a long-term contract, as protection against the interest that is sure to come in him, this summer, they need to get themselves in the same position with Osborn.
“His current deal expires at the end of next season but it is something that Forest, in an ideal world, need to sort out now.
“Other clubs will be looking at him. Stoke were apparently keen in January and that may not have gone away. Just as the exciting, electric Lolley will rightly be heralded this summer, Forest need to make sure that players like Osborn feel valued and important as well.
“People underestimate the contribution players like him make but, trust me, the scale of his contribution would become obvious, if he was gone.”
Forest boss Martin O’Neill will be looking to rebuild and reshape his squad in the summer, as the club look to improve on their ninth placed finish from the 2018/19 campaign.
I think Osborn is a player who goes under the radar, as I think he’s so important to Forest.
He can play anywhere, whether that be at left-back or in central midfield, and he’s arguably one of the most promising players in the Championship.
If he keeps on playing like he has been doing, then his stock is just going to keep on rising and rising, and Forest need to protect their long-term security by giving him a new deal.
Thoughts? Let us know!