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
The future of Manchester City’s Morgan Rogers emerged as a major talking point at the weekend.
The young winger was spotted at the City Ground on Saturday, following Nottingham Forest’s defeat to Bournemouth.
This came after speculation linked Rogers with a move to Forest, with The Athletic reporting the Reds’ interest a fortnight ago.
Rogers spent the second half of last season on loan at Lincoln City, scoring six goals in 28 appearances for the Imps.
He now looks set for another loan move, with Forest trying to get his signature over the line before the end of the transfer window.
Would Rogers be a regular starter, though? The Reds have already brought in Philip Zinckernagel on loan from Watford, and already have Joe Lolley, Brennan Johnson and Alex Mighten at the club.
Here, we discuss that point…
It’s certainly not guaranteed considering the fact they have Brennan Johnson, Philip Zinckernagel and Joe Lolley as options behind Lyle Taylor – and record signing Joao Carvalho seemingly re-emerging as an option for the East Midlands side.
However, the one thing that could Rogers a regular starter at the City Ground is the fact he’s already built an understanding with star man Brennan Johnson from their time together at Lincoln City last term – and this relationship could push Forest to the next level as they look to improve on their poor start.
The Manchester City man would probably be in direct competition with Lolley for a starting spot with Johnson continuing to impress and Hughton possibly reluctant to bench one of his summer signings in Zinckernagel.
The Danish midfielder has promotion-winning experience from his time at Watford and after seeing him in action at Vicarage Road, Hughton knows what he can bring to the first-team squad.
And after such a poor attacking record last season, with Forest scoring just 37 goals in 46 games, Lolley has to take his fair share of the responsibility.
His three goal contributions in 28 appearances during the 2020/21 campaign last term was just not good enough – but we all know what he can bring to the table when he’s in form. Compare that to Rogers’ six goals and four assists in three fewer appearances for Lincoln, albeit at a lower level, and you have to say the teenager is in with a shout of starting.
So if anyone could sum up his chances of starting for Forest, it would be these three words: Depends on Lolley.
Maybe not straight away but I’d back the teenager to force his way into the starting XI after a while.
He was excellent in the second half of last season for Lincoln City and playing amongst higher quality players should only improve his game.
Hughton does have some fantastic attacking options and it’s hard to see him opting for Rogers over the likes of Zinckernagel, Lolley, and Mighten straight away.
However, I’d back the 19-year-old to win the trust of the Reds boss over fairly quickly and produce the sort of performances that mean he’s given a start fairly regularly.
Given the congestion of the Championship schedule, there should be plenty of opportunities for him to impress.
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Morgan Rogers is a player with vast amounts of potential and he is the sort of player that looks like he has the ability to perform to a strong standard in the Championship with him having enjoyed an excellent spell with Lincoln City in League One last term.
Nottingham Forest could do with some extra attacking creativity and a goal threat in the final third and Rogers looks like he has the ability to come into their side and provide that for them.
The 19-year-old has also got a strong relationship already with Brennan Johnson with the pair having combined well during their time together at Lincoln last season. That suggests that there is already that chemistry there that Chris Hughton can look to develop further by handing Rogers regular starts for the Reds.
Rogers looks ready for regular starts in the Championship but he might first have to persuade Hughton that he can be a reliable performer at that level by producing from the bench in the first few weeks of his time with the club.
However, if he beds in as well as he did at Lincoln last season then you would expect him to be given the chance to come into the side from the start.