This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Nottingham Forest have received an offer from Blackpool for Jordan Gabriel, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
Gabriel was excellent on loan at Blackpool last season, making 35 appearances in all competitions as they won promotion from League One.
The 22-year-old is now back at Forest for pre-season as he looks to make an impression on Chris Hughton, but he is attracting plenty of interest.
According to Alan Nixon, an offer is now in for Gabriel, but Forest are likely to wait and see if another full-back arrives before deciding.
Gabriel is Forest’s current first-choice right-back, with Carl Jenkinson completely out of favour at the City Ground and likely to be on his way out.
Should Forest let go of Gabriel, then? We discuss…
This is an interesting one. Cyrus Christie has returned to Fulham on the expiration of his loan deal, so they only really have Carl Jenkinson as an option at right-back for now.
However, if Chris Hughton is not planning to fully utilise Gabriel and believes the club can benefit financially from selling him and bringing in a reasonably cheap free agent, then the Irishman should look to move him on providing the free agent is an adequate replacement.
When you have someone like Brennan Johnson who they will desperately want to keep hold of after he impressed for Lincoln City last season, taking financially beneficial decisions that can enable Forest to retain someone of his quality is essential.
Because of this, the decision of whether to accept the offer or not doesn’t solely come down to the depth they have in the right-back position.
They should think long-term, both in terms of Johnson and whether they think Gabriel can become a regular starter. At 22, they need to make this decision now.
If they think he can make the step up, they should keep him if it isn’t financially damaging. If they think he can’t, it’s time to cash in.
Nottingham Forest have got a major dilemma to consider regarding the future of Jordan Gabriel and they have to decide whether the defender is going to be a firm part of their plans for next term or not. Chris Hughton will have had time to assess his qualities in pre-season and come to a judgement over whether he is good enough to be a first-choice for the Reds.
If Hughton does not see Gabriel as a first-team starter for Forest then he will need to allow him the chance to make a move away from the City Ground. At Blackpool, the defender already has the relationship with Neil Critchley and the rest of the squad and he would be a crucial player you would imagine in the English second tier next term.
Forest have seen various young talents depart the club in recent times and they need to start doing more to keep them at the City Ground for a longer period of time. Gabriel is a player that they should in my view be keeping hold of and giving chances to start.
However, Blackpool would be the better destination for him if Hughton has any doubts over whether he should be a regular starter or not. So, the decision on whether to accepet the offer or not will come down to the thoughts of the Forest boss really.
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It all depends on the value of the bid that Blackpool have made in my eyes, as Gabriel is a player who has bags of potential to improve.
He’s still only 22 and has three years remaining on his contract at the City Ground, so you would have to assume that the Seasiders have put together a good package.
I think Forest should keep hold of him for now as he offers a good option on the right hand side of defence.
Sometimes clubs can sell a player in the heat of the moment and then come to regret it, so I would advise Houghton to exercise some patience.
I’d be shocked if the Reds let him go at the first time of asking, but it will inevitably all come down to the money on offer.