Nottingham Forest had a strong start to the season but their defence has let them down and ultimately cost them a potential place in the Premier League next season.
With Dougie Freedman signing a new deal and securing his future at the club, it’s now time to build a successful team, and with doing that, you have to start at the back, the defence.
Forest need a strong, young full-back to help concur their defensive problems which they have faced this year and if they sign Jon Flanagan they could push for promotion in their 125th year and make it a rememberable one.
The 22-year-old is a versatile full-back and can play across the defence with Brazil legend Cafu infamously said that the young defender was his successor.
He told liverpoolfc.com, “He has speed, strength and determination. He’s an athlete who goes after it and never gives it up. That’s exactly what I used to do; there were no missing chances for me, no tiredness and no being dejected.
“I see that style in him too. I hope he continues that way and achieves as many trophies as I did.”
Although the World Cup winner was more than likely joking, Flanagan is a very good defender and could fit in well at Forest.
With an impressive 2013/14 for the Reds, Flanagan has yet to appear in the Premier League this season, mainly down to a serious knee injury causing him to be on the sidelines for months, but with a loan next season, it could regain his confidence and show off performances that fans were raving about last season.
However his current deal will end at the end of this season and Liverpool have been keen to get Flanagan to sign a new deal for months now but nothing has come of it. Even if Flanagan does sign a new deal at Anfield, he should still be loaned out to City Ground.
There has been 11 games this season where Forest have conceded three or more goals this season and on the wings of the defence is where Freedman could start to rebuild his side.
The right back position at the club has been a struggle to find someone who can play consistently and work with the other three defenders, Eric Lichaj has been playing on the left in recent matches for Forest and can play on either side of the defence, even though he has been played at right back, it isn’t as successful as the American playing on the left of defence.
Danny Fox is ultimately back-up to Lichaj, he pushes up the pitch a lot and does create a lot of chances when he’s on the pitch but with this can jeopardise Forest’s defence and one thing Freedman will look to improve on is keeping out the opposition from the penalty box.
With loanee’s Jack Hunt and Todd Kane only being at the City Ground for a few more games, the likes of Lichaj and Michael Mancienne have filled in on the right when injuries and suspensions have occurred but neither of them have made it their own however.
So Forest will look to strengthen in this department come this summer and Flanagan may be the solution.
Flanagan could be in the right-back position of a back four line-up with Kevin Wilson and Jack Hobbs in the centre with Lichaj in the left-back position.