Their interest in the Royals’ defender dates back to last summer with Steve Cooper’s side even thought to have submitted a formal bid for his services, though that was rejected by officials at the Select Car Leasing Stadium despite Holmes only having one year left on his deal at that point.
Fast forward to the present day – and the 22-year-old is yet to put pen to paper on fresh terms in Berkshire with the Royals restricted in what they can offer him this summer because of the EFL business plan they have been forced to follow this summer.
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Despite this, you just feel the defender will eventually sign a new contract at the club considering his local ties, the fact he was a boyhood fan of the club and the fact he will be guaranteed regular minutes under Paul Ince.
This isn’t the only reason why Forest should be steering clear of a move for the Englishman at this stage though.
There’s no doubt Holmes is a player with great potential and with more experience and good coaching under his belt, he could easily become an accomplished Championship defender in the coming years.
But he was a big part of a defence that had the joint-worst defensive record in the second tier last term and had his fair share of low points, potentially meaning he won’t be ready to be a regular first-teamer in the Premier League next season.
He wouldn’t be a starter at the City Ground anyway with Joe Worrall, Scott McKenna and Steve Cook all performing admirably for the Reds during the second half of the 2021/22 campaign, but may have been called upon if one or two of the trio sustained injuries.
With Jonathan Panzo also available as a young prospect, bringing Holmes in may have unnecessarily blocked the ex-Dijon defender’s pathway and though there is a need to recruit in this area with Tobias Figueiredo potentially departing this summer, they need to look at other targets.
If they are to recruit a centre-back, something that will be a requirement if they are to have sufficient depth in this position, they need to bring in someone who can be a regular starter in the top flight and help the likes of Worrall and McKenna, both of whom have no English top-tier experience under their belt.
Holmes may end up being available on a free transfer this summer, making him a decent signing for the East Midlands outfit, but they need to focus on the short term in their bid to remain afloat in the top tier before looking at the bigger picture. It may cost more for them to bring in a regular starter with top-tier pedigree – but it’s a sacrifice they should be willing to make.