The January window looks likely to be a pivotal period in Steve Cooper’s first season as Nottingham Forest boss with the Welsh coach looking to maintain his outstanding Championship record.
Cooper has reached the play-offs in both of his seasons managing in the second tier and though the Reds were bottom of the table when he joined, their impressive form since suggests it’s not out of the question that the 41-year-old could make it three in three.
Forest will likely need to back the manager in the winter window if that is to happen and one player that Football League World understands is on their radar is Sheffield United striker Rhian Brewster.
The 21-year-old is yet to prove worth the £23 million that the Blades spent on him but played the best football of his career under Cooper at Swansea City – scoring 11 times in 22 appearances – so reuniting the duo could well kick-start his career and mean he returns to Bramall Lane in the summer high in confidence.
Admittedly, loaning one of your first team strikers to a play-off rival does seem a strange move but some transfer news that emerged over the weekend hinted at a domino effect that could see Brewster sent to the City Ground.
According to The Sun, United are interested in Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun ahead of the January window and may be set for a transfer battle with former manager Chris Wilder’s new club Middlesbrough as they look to get a deal done with the Gunners.
Balogun’s arrival would likely knock Brewster down the pecking order at Bramall Lane and could obstruct his development significantly.
The 21-year-old bagged his first Championship goal for the Blades recently and has shown signs of rediscovering the confidence that helped him succeed at this level previously but the arrival of the Arsenal man could force him out of contention.
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With that in mind, United may feel that if they sign Balogun the best plan of action is to send him out on loan somewhere that he can play regular football and get back to his best while reuniting with the manager that got the best out of him at Swansea would seem a good move for his development.
The Blades may still feel that strengthening a play-off rival is something they can’t afford to do but there’s a chance that if they beat Boro in the race for Balogun, it could open the door to Brewster’s move to Forest.