With Nottingham Forest just surviving the Championship drop zone with a 3-0 victory over Ipswich Town on the final day of the season, Forest boss Mark Warburton seriously needs to strengthen his side if he wishes to progress up the table next season, but who would be realistic targets…
Barnsley duo Marley Watkins and Josh Scowen have both turned down new deals at Oakwell, and both would fit into Warburton’s side perfectly.
Scowen joined the Tykes in January 2015 from Wycombe Wanderers, and has made over 100 appearances since, being a crucial member in their promotion from the League One last season, and this season’s rise up the Championship table.
The 24-year-old has shown all season, his ability to control and dictate the play of the game, as well of showing off his incredible work rate, making him the perfect man to lift the Reds’ midfield to the next level.
He would also be a like-for-like replacement for 34-year-old David Vaughan, who is coming to the end of his playing career at Forest.
In addition, Watkins joined Barnsley from Scottish side Inverness, six months after Scowen joined Oakwell, and has been a consistent first team performer ever since.
Watkins has the ability to play as a winger or inside forward down either wing, but also can play behind the striker making him a versatile attacker, and ideal for Warburton who tends to change his system often.
To add to his credentials, this campaign Watkins has scored 10 goals, alongside assisting seven goals, being the main reason behind the Tykes Championship success.
The 26-year-old would definitely add a different dynamic to Forests’ play style, as if the Reds’ are able to keep hold of Britt Assombalonga, the African striker will flourish playing alongside a playmaker such as Watkins.
Subsequently, with the Barnsley duo both leaving the club on a free, the transfers will be of a small risk, as Forest will only have to pay the players wages and possibly a sign on fee.
With guaranteed first team football almost certain at the City Ground for both players, the players may be easily persuaded with Forest also determined to push forward next season aiming for a playoff spot.
Forest fans… What do you think? Would you be happy if Scowen and Watkins signed for Forest? Is there any other realistic targets you’d prefer? Let us know in the comments below…