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Steve Cooper sets Nottingham Forest stance on utilising loan market amid Djed Spence success

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Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has admitted he would prefer not to rely on the loan market in the future despite seeing the likes of Max Lowe and Djed Spence thrive at the City Ground, speaking to Nottinghamshire Live.

The Reds recruited five players on a permanent basis during the previous transfer window, a respectable number in isolation.

But they went ahead and added five loan players as well, with Lowe, Spence, Philip Zinckernagel, Jordi Osei-Tutu and James Garner all arriving on season-long loan deals and helping to bolster a side that previously looked short on quality and depth.

Quiz: 30 questions about some of Nottingham Forest’s best ever players – Can you score 100% correct?

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1) How many years did Viv Anderson spend at Nottingham Forest?

Enduring a very slow start to the summer, with United States international Ethan Horvath the only arrival before August, it’s currently unclear whether their heavy utilisation of temporary deals was down to the nature of the summer market and their desperation to make additions before the closure of the transfer window.

However, both Lowe and Spence, who arrived from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United respectively, have proved to be a massive hit since manager Cooper’s arrival in the East Midlands and  Zinckernagel has also contributed this term with an impressive six goal contributions in 15 league games.

The likes of Osei-Tutu and Garner have fared less well with the former continuing to struggle with injuries, but the three others have outweighed this downside and the latter still has plenty of time to make an impact after impressing at the City Ground last term.

Cooper believes they should move away from relying so heavily on temporary deals in the future despite admitting that’s not possible just yet, saying to Nottinghamshire Live: “For me, I would love that we don’t have to rely on loans, because that means the young players in your team are yours and you’re developing your own assets.

“You know there’s a longevity to the development you’re doing with the players in that case, and you know you can work in a way that not only helps you short-term, but can help you a bit mid-term as well because you know players are with you for the duration.

“But we’re not in that place at the moment. We have to use the loan market, and we rely on it in certain ways. We need to maximise that.

“The pros and cons of the loans, we’ll just deal with as and when they come.”

The Verdict:

You can see where the Welshman is coming from and you would think a lot of Forest fans would agree with every word he’s saying, because utilising the loan market less will provide them with more stability in the long term.

The short-term success from these temporary deals can be huge, especially because a lot of these players will be champing at the bit to play first-team football like Lowe and Garner were. The former and Spence have shown how successful you can be if you pick the right players to recruit on temporary deals.

You could also argue bringing players in on loan also helps financially – and can help to provide depth when transfer budgets are limited – something that has become a reality for many clubs throughout the EFL due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, when you have the likes of Alex Mighten and Brennan Johnson at your disposal, with others like Fin Back likely to make a real breakthrough in the next season or two, it just shows the merit of developing your own players.

Lincoln City nearly benefitted hugely from Johnson’s spell at the LNER Stadium after coming within 90 minutes of the Championship in the play-off final, but ultimately, they lost and Michael Appleton’s side no longer have him as an option.

With this, Forest have benefitted a lot more from this spell away last season than Lincoln did, because he’s adapted very well to senior football in the Championship and looks on course to be in the Premier League if he can continue developing in the same manner.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Steve Cooper sets Nottingham Forest stance on utilising loan market amid Djed Spence success

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