Nottingham Forest loanee Max Lowe will be frustrated that he hasn’t been able to appear more for his current side after spending two separate spells on the sidelines this season.
Previously establishing himself as a key cog in Steve Cooper’s machine during the early stages of the Welshman’s tenure at the City Ground as an energetic wing-back, he has only been able to make 20 league appearances for the Reds this term.
This is a disappointing total considering he has been one of the first names on the teamsheet when available – and he will be hoping to make it back in time to compete in a potential play-off campaign with the East Midlands outfit.
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Recording one goal and four assists during these 20 league appearances and also impressing in the FA Cup against Leicester City earlier this calendar year, he has shown exactly why he should be a regular first-teamer at this level.
However, he’s unlikely to be a regular at parent club Sheffield United anytime soon with both Enda Stevens and Rhys Norrington-Davies available as left-sided options for Paul Heckingbottom at Bramall Lane.
Because of this, a permanent move to the City Ground could be on the agenda in the summer and the player himself has expressed his desire to remain in Nottingham Forest for the long term.
And bearing this in mind, we have selected one winner and one winner at Cooper’s side if a permanent deal for the 24-year-old is pushed through.
Winner: Sam Surridge
This spell at Forest is a very important one for the forward’s career – because he wasn’t able to establish himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet at AFC Bournemouth and his summer move to Stoke City didn’t exactly work out either.
Joining the Reds during the winter, Surridge has made a reasonably promising start to life in the East Midlands with four goals in 15 appearances but his ability to remain consistent will determine how successful his time at the City Ground is.
To be successful, he will need an adequate amount of service and this is why Lowe can provide, recording four assists in 20 second-tier games this season and this could make a direct difference to the 23-year-old’s goal total in the coming seasons.
This could be especially important to the whole side with Surridge potentially succeeding Lewis Grabban as the club’s main talisman in the next season or two.
Jack Colback may be able to make a meaningful contribution – but Lowe is more effective on the left side and may contribute more going forward because of that. That will only benefit the striker.
Loser: Gaetan Bong
A permanent move for Lowe may put the final nail in Bong’s career at Forest, though his time at the City Ground was likely to come to an end anyway with his contract expiring in a couple of months and the 33-year-old enduring an unsuccessful campaign this season.
However, there may be a very slim chance of the Cameroonian being kept on if the Sheffield United man wasn’t able to sign permanently with a clear lack of options in this position, as reinforced by Colback’s move to the left side.
January addition Richie Laryea is yet to make an impact in the Midlands thus far – but his potential inclusion and Lowe’s arrival could rule out any chance of Bong earning an extended stay.
In the end, with the 33-year-old receiving a huge amount of criticism on social media for his displays this season, he may end up being a winner if he’s released so he can make a fresh start.
Will he remain in the English second tier if he isn’t able to remain at Forest though? Perhaps not – and that’s what may make him a firm loser from this potential transfer agreement with the Blades.