Oxford United signed Gavin Whyte from Crusaders last summer and after a year in League One he is already attracting attention from higher up the football pyramid.
Nine goals is not a bad return for a 23-year-old winger in his first season in the EFL, and Oxford must rate him very highly, as his price tag is more of a hands-off warning than anything else.
So, now Forest know where they stand and how much they will have to pay, our FLW Six Point Opinion looks at wether it is a deal worth doing.
Why have Oxford placed such a large asking price on the player?
“The club clearly values him very highly, and they are probably fed up of losing their best players to Championship teams – like Kemar Roofe or Callum O’Dowda.
“Whyte impressed in his first year and is clearly a valuable player to Karl Robinson.
“If he continues to do well for Oxford they could begin to challenge for promotion. Goal-scoring wingers can be hard to come by and Oxford will feel they have done the hard work in scouting him and taking the risk to bring him to England.
Does he present good value for money?
“That depends solely on how he improves over the next few years.
“Currently, his form for Oxford suggests he would do okay in the Championship, and could score a few goals throughout the season, but certainly not enough to warrant a £4 million fee, which would be significant for Forest.
“Oxford likely bought him for a six-figure fee last summer, so the fact they are now demanding £4m is ludicrous.”
Does Whyte have the potential to play in the Premier League?
“It is difficult to assess given he has played just one season in the EFL.
“He did have a strong season in a largely struggling Oxford side, which indicates there is a good player in there.
“At 23 he has a lot of potential, but a bad season which knocks his confidence or a season in which he doesn’t play often enough could really hinder his development so there are a few factors which could work against him.”
Should Forest focus on other targets?
“Yes, Oxford seem unwilling to budge from their asking price, which is way too much for a player of Whyte’s standing.
“The asking price is most likely a ploy to deter interest and if so then it works effectively. Forest could have money to spend if one or both of Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho depart, but Whyte is currently not a sufficient replacement for either of those.
“Forest should target more proven Championship players.
How big a risk would this transfer be for Forest?
“It’s a risk for sure.
“Whyte may be an international and he may be young but joining a club like Forest would bring huge expectation onto his shoulders which he hasn’t experienced before.
“Combine that with the fact he could be replacing Forest’s best player last season – Joe Lolley – then it seems like an absurd move to make if Forest meet the asking price.”
How would the fans react if this deal went through?
“I think there would be some shock throughout the fanbase.
“Many Forest fans have probably never heard of Whyte before and £4m for a player like that would be unfathomable for most fans.
“After being linked with players like Grosicki and Hosam Aiesh this would be a bit of a comedown for fans, and I don’t think the management or the board would receive much praise for it.”