Former Nottingham Forest striker Nigel Jemson believes Chris Hughton’s side would be favourites to land Manchester United midfielder James Garner against if the player had the choice between joining them or Derby County, speaking to The Transfer Tavern.
The latter have started better than many people expected to, drawing their first league game of the season against Huddersfield Town and managing to grab all three points at the MKM Stadium against Hull City last night, responding well to their late 2-1 loss against Peterborough United at the weekend.
Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, have had a disastrous start to their campaign like they did during the 2020/21 season and lost 2-1 at home to Blackburn last night, failing to take a single point from their opening three fixtures.
Quiz: Have Nottingham Forest won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
Although the absence of Joe Worrall and the need to bring more players in has hampered them this season, their performances so far have been underwhelming to say the least and manager Hughton could be just a couple of games away from the sack already if this run continues.
But they do have one advantage in the race over Derby County in the pursuit of 20-year-old James Garner’s signature – and that’s the fact he spent the second half of last season at the City Ground.
Although it’s currently unclear what his future holds after reportedly rejecting a new contract at Manchester United and several teams interest in his signature, ex-Forest man Nigel Jemson believes the East Midlands side are one of the favourites to land the midfielder if he’s allowed to leave.
He said to The Transfer Tavern: “(He did) did really well, well-liked, well respected.
“He’s gone back to Manchester United and I don’t know what the full situation is there whether he’s turned a contract down, I’ve read something that he was possibly going to be linked to Derby, which that wouldn’t have gone down well.
“But, you know, I think that if there’s a choice between the two clubs, having the fact that he spent last season with us that would put us on the front foot I would have thought and again that would be another good signing for us to bring him in.”
Despite their poor start to the campaign, it’s still likely we will see Nottingham Forest finish higher up in the league table than Derby County due to the latter’s sheer lack of squad depth. If they get another few injuries, Wayne Rooney’s side will be in even more trouble than they are currently in.
Forest are also likely to see a few new additions come through the door before the end of the transfer window, free from any transfer restrictions, unlike the Rams who are continuing to suffer under their current embargo.
This, combined with the return of key man Joe Worrall, is likely to put Chris Hughton’s side in a much stronger position in a month or two compared to where they are now which could make a potential return attractive to Garner.
The 20-year-old will already be familiar with the location, the manager and the first-team squad, so there’s still a good chance he could come in before the window shuts.
However, they may need to fend off interest from the likes of Stoke City and Sheffield United if they want to secure this agreement, because he will continue to be in demand after performing admirably during loan spells at Watford and Forest last term.