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…
Newcastle United have released midfielder Jack Colback with his current contract at St James’ Park set to expire at the end of the month.
The 30-year-old spent six years with the North East club, making 102 appearances, but hasn’t featured for the Magpies first-team since they were promoted to the Premier League at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
Colback has spent much of his time since on loan at Nottingham Forest and, according to The Athletic, the central midfielder is someone the East Midlands club may try to sign if Ben Watson were to leave this summer.
But should the Reds move for him now he’s set to be a free agent?
We asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…
A lot might depend on the future of Ben Watson.
Watson has been fantastic this season and Forest, in my opinion, need to retain their faith with him.
However, if a (slightly) younger pair of legs are desired, they might well make a move for Colback, who did very well in his previous spell with Forest.
Given he’s on a free, it is a cheap enough deal for Forest to be looking at, which wasn’t always the case.
Ultimately, though, Forest have to be looking at what division they are playing their football in next season before making any sort of decision on Colback.
Their focus cannot slip.
I think they’ll at least consider it.
Colback did a good job when he was at Forest last time and if Lamouchi wants to add to his midfield then it could be worth a look as he’d surely settle in quickly.
Personally, if the Reds go up I can’t see them going for him and a lot will depend anyway on what options they have got in the middle of the park ahead of next season too.
I can’t see Colback to Forest being a guarantee and he’s probably on big wages so that needs to be considered, but there is obviously going to be a link there given his time at the City Ground previously.
In all honesty, I don’t think we’ll see it happen when push comes to shove. I don’t doubt that they’re not at least aware of the situation but I just can’t see it happening.
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I think that ship has sailed to be honest.
Colback was obviously an excellent player for Nottingham Forest during his time at the City Ground, especially in his second spell under Aitor Karanka where he established himself as the first name on the team-sheet week in, week out.
Under Sabri Lamouchi, though, I think Forest have improved in midfield and they have much better options to choose from in Samba Sow, Ben Watson, Tiago Silva, Brennan Johnson, and John Bostock.
Of course, Watson is attracting interest elsewhere and Sow has never really been able to shake off his injury problems, so you feel that there is a need to strengthen their midfield options this summer, but whether Colback is the man to strengthen their midfield remains to be seen.
He hasn’t played a decent amount of football over the past year, and at the age of 30, I would back Lamouchi to find a better option than him this summer.