Ex-Nottingham Forest striker Nigel Jemson believes some people are writing off Lyle Taylor ‘prematurely’ after an underwhelming first year at the City Ground, speaking to This is Futbol.
The 31-year-old first arrived in the East Midlands on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2020, having scored 11 goals in 22 Championship appearances during the 2019/20 campaign for the Addicks after seeing his 20 league goals in the previous campaign guide the south-east London side to the second tier.
However, the forward has struggled to live up to expectations under Chris Hughton, bagging just four goals in 39 appearances last term and has started the 2021/22 season in a similar vein.
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His opening day goal away at Coventry City could have been set to push him on to greater things during this campaign, especially with the additions of Philip Zinckernagel, Braian Ojeda and Xande Silva coming in as creative options to support the strikers and no centre-forwards coming in to provide competition to the likes of Taylor and Lewis Grabban. But as of yet, the 31-year-old has failed to build on that.
Although the free-agent market is currently open for Forest to do business in that area, being under no EFL transfer restrictions as an added bonus, Taylor looks to be one of only two established options up top and former Forest man Nigel Jemson believes it would be foolish to write him out of the script.
Asked whether this move just hasn’t worked out for the 31-year-old, Jemson said to This is Futbol: “It possibly hasn’t. I like him as a player, I saw him scoring goals for Charlton, and sometimes you have moves where it doesn’t work out.
“But I think we’re probably a bit too premature in writing him off. He came last season, we struggled a bit, we’ve struggled a bit this season.
“Strikers need confidence, he got off the mark first game of the season and then he sees himself out of the team again.”
Some moves just don’t work out for the best – and this seems to be the case with Taylor at Forest as things stand. Many people have seen the same happen with Will Grigg at Sunderland after performing well at Wigan Athletic, although there is one major difference between the two cases.
Grigg would have been under a huge amount of pressure to perform at the Stadium of Light from the off after arriving on Wearside for a £4m fee, a huge amount of money considering the Black Cats were in League One even at that point.
Meanwhile, Taylor arrived at the City Ground on a free transfer last year, although you could argue there was still a considerable amount of expectation on his shoulders following his goalscoring record in recent years prior to his move.
Although it was a disappointing season for Forest last term after finishing in 17th place and losing their first four league games in a row, particular criticism was aimed at the attack after seeing the East Midlands side score just 37 times in 46 appearances.
Without a reasonably solid defence with the likes of Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna, Forest may have been toast so Taylor already faces an uphill battle to get back on track.
Their defensive record is also worse this season, putting more responsibility on the likes of him and Lewis Grabban to perform. It’s time for him to sink or swim – and Forest fans will be hoping he can rise to the occasion.