June 14, 2024

Nottingham Forest face key transfer call amid uncertain future for forgotten man

Latest Nottingham Forest news as Steve Cooper’s Reds face key summer transfer window ahead of Premier League season


Nottingham Forest's Lewis O'Brien to join D.C. United on loan


Making the right signings will be key for Nottingham Forest this summer, but just as important will be overseeing departures.


The Reds need to strengthen; they need to add options in a number of positions. They also need to trim their squad – and that means some difficult decisions will have to be made.


That was also the case in January, when Lewis O’Brien was among those to head elsewhere. After a loan to Blackburn Rovers fell through on deadline day, the midfielder ended up heading across the Atlantic, joining DC United on a temporary basis.


In little more than a fortnight’s time that deal is due to expire, leaving O’Brien’s future up in the air once again. The MLS outfit are said to be keen to keep him on and the suggestions are he also has suitors on this side of the water, should Forest be prepared to let him leave.


But with the centre of the pitch requiring attention in the transfer window, there’s a case to be made for O’Brien getting a second chance at the City Ground. Particularly if the Reds lose numbers in that department.


Jack Colback’s exit at the end of his contract has already been confirmed. Jonjo Shelvey is likely to move on and there is doubt over whether Remo Freuler will still be at the club once the window closes.


Forest do still need to target additional midfield resources, but it could prove premature to dismiss O’Brien as an option completely. He had looked bright early on last term, before illness seemed to set him back and his performances dipped. At 24, he is still of a good age, too.


Lewis O'Brien addresses Nottingham Forest future after DC United transfer  clause emerges - Nottinghamshire Live


Last season demonstrated the importance of having strength in depth in all areas. Orel Mangala, Ryan Yates and Danilo are first-choice in midfield based on how the 2022/23 campaign finished, but the Reds need to end the window with sufficient competition in place.


Whether O’Brien would be content with finding himself back on the bench – at least initially – might be a different matter. He was eager for regular game time, and has been getting that with DC United. He would likely face a fight to get into the starting XI Trentside.


Deciding whether staying with Wayne Rooney’s side, returning to Forest or making a switch elsewhere is a big call when it comes to O’Brien’s future. It is one which should be weighed up carefully.


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