With the dust having now settled on a Championship campaign which saw Nottingham Forest narrowly miss out on the play-offs, manager Martin O’Neill will be hoping to achieve success in what will be his first full season in charge at the City Ground.
Yet whereas the 67-year-old will be hoping to bring in a number of top quality signings this summer, it could be argued that the Reds’ success could be dependent on the performance of some of the players that they already have at their disposal.
Taking this into consideration, we have selected three individuals who we think could shape Forest’s fortunes next year.
Check them out below…
Make no mistake about it, Joe Lolley was by far and away the Reds’ star performer during the 2018/19 campaign with his 22 goal contributions helping the club secure a top-ten finish in the second tier.
Rightfully named the club’s Player of the Year last month, the midfielder will be hoping to take his game to new heights next season which he should be more than capable of doing if the last 12 months are anything to go by.
If he is able to somehow improve his output, there is no reason why Lolley cannot be the man to finally end Forest’s hiatus from the Premier League.
Top-scorer for the Reds last year with 16 goals in all competitions, Lewis Grabban is no stranger to a promotion or two having achieved success at AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City in recent years and therefore he will be hoping to make it a hat-trick in 2020.
Yet in order to give O’Neill’s side the necessary firepower next season, it is imperative that the 31-year-old improves his consistency in-front of goal as he does have the tendency to go off the boil at times in the Championship.
Having joined Forest last summer from Sunderland, Costil Pantilimon has experienced a positive start to his career at the City Ground.
During the 2018/19 campaign, the Romanian managed to keep 15 clean sheets in the Championship, a total only bettered by three other goalkeepers in the division.
If Pantilimon can continue to improve as a shot-stopper next season and cut out any silly lapses in concentration, it would not be at all surprising if the Reds find themselves in contention for a top-six finish at the very least.