Mark Warburton has already made a big statement ahead of his first full season in-charge of Nottingham Forest, by securing the long-term future of Ben Brereton, and he will surely be looking to help Forest compete in the Sky Bet Championship next season, after a disappointing 2016/17 campaign.
Despite the positivity surrounding Brereton’s contract extension, one look on the Twitter feed of any Forest fan and you would see somebody predicting that following the teenager’s contract extension, Britt Assombalonga would be sold.
Forest simply cannot afford to lose Assombalonga this summer, with the striker sure to be the driving force behind any promotion push at the City Ground next season.
Assombalonga has spent three seasons with Forest, scoring 15 goals during his first 12-months with the Reds, before a serious injury hampered the 24-year old’s involvement during the 2015/16 campaign.
However, last season, despite Forest struggling towards the bottom of the Championship table, and Assombalonga failing to deliver his best performances, the striker was back amongst the goals, scoring on 14 occasions.
Leeds United showed last season that a team finishing so low in the Championship one season, can compete for the top-six the next. However, Chris Wood was the driving force behind their push for the play-offs – even though that challenge ultimately fell short.
Middlesbrough are reportedly interested in Assombalonga, and Garry Monk is willing to pay a substantial fee to secure his signature ahead of next season. However, if Forest are serious about improving in the Championship next year, the striker cannot be sold.
Should Assombalonga be sold, all the positivity that has come from Brereton’s contract extension would certainly be lost, and Forest’s chances of pushing for promotion next season would suffer a serious blow, as they need the 24-year old to be the driving force, just as Wood was for Leeds last season.