Championship side Nottingham Forest have reportedly been rejected by Sint-Truiden forward Yuma Suzuki, according to journalist Sacha Tavolieri.
The 25-year-old currently plies his trade in the Belgian top division, scoring a magnificent 17 goals in 34 Jupiler Pro League matches last season and vastly improving on what was already a solid first season at STVV during the 2019/20 campaign.
Yet to make an appearance for the Japan national side despite making the move to Belgium, previously spending the earlier days of his playing career at Kashima Antlers in his native country, he was reportedly given the option to sign for Chris Hughton’s side on deadline day and showcase his ability in the English second tier.
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As per Sacha Tavolieri, Sint-Truiden had agreed to sell the 25-year-old to Forest with just hours remaining in the transfer window, presumably for a sizeable sum of money with his contract not expiring until 2023.
But much to the East Midlands side’s inevitable disappointment, Suzuki opted against a move to the City Ground with too little time to make a more attractive offer to the 25-year-old.
Considering the fact they had the joint-worst attacking record in the Championship last term, scoring just 37 times, this move to bring in a proven goalscorer would make sense.
But they were left with West Ham United attacker Xande Silva on deadline day, who operates as more of a winger despite occasionally operating as a striker and many Forest fans will be wondering whether manager Hughton will regret not bringing in an established centre-forward, with his job currently hanging by a thread.
If Suzuki has rejected Nottingham Forest to stay in the Belgian top division, this really is a blow to Forest who needed a centre-forward to come in and challenge the likes of Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban for a starting spot.
They have Silva, Philip Zinckernagel, Braian Ojeda, Joe Lolley, Brennan Johnson and Joao Carvalho as potential attacking options around the striker – but they will look short in the centre-forward department if one of Taylor or Grabban sustain an injury.
Lyle Taylor proved to be a great asset for Charlton Athletic before his move to Forest and Lewis Grabban has a wealth of experience in the second tier. But the pair struggled to get themselves in and amongst the goals last term and with their defence now leaking goals, this could leave the duo devoid of confidence.
Thankfully, the return of star defender Joe Worrall from his calf injury should aid them in their quest to tighten up a defence that looked solid for large parts of last season, but a striker now has to be at the top of their transfer priorities for January if they don’t dip into the free agent market before then.
They had all summer to address this problem and with no embargo restrictions hanging over their head, their transfer window has to be bumped down a grade or two because they have failed to adequately bolster a key position.