Nottingham Forest might be about to throw a little bit more continental flair into their side, although not in the most obvious way.
Reports (via The Sun on Sunday) are coming in that Forest are set to make a bid for 27-year old John Bostock. Bostock came through the academy at Crystal Palace, before sealing a move to Spurs in 2008, where he didn’t make a single league appearance and only made brief appearances in cup competitions.
Before long he found himself bouncing around the lower leagues with the likes of Brentford, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town before trying to forge a career in Europe where his best days came at OH Leuven where he managed to get 20 goals and 7 assists in 58 appearances. Now it appears as though he could be set to return to English football, with Brentford and Reading also interested in bringing him in.
Whilst the squad is a little bit on the large side as it stands, we expect that to go down in the coming days. A lot of players have been frozen out of the first team by new boss Sabri Lamouchi, so one extra body won’t hurt once they have departed.
The more you dive into it though, the more John Bostock becomes an enigma. There are so many questions surrounding this rumour that it just doesn’t appeal to me.
At 27 he’s younger than his main competition, 33-year-old Adlène Guedioura, so you’d be able to get more years out of him. But at the same time his track record in England, particularly in the Championship isn’t all that great. Also at that age there’s not a lot more developing you can do, so what you see is what you get.
Can we put enough faith in his development abroad? Will he turn out to be another Jadon Sancho whose career has flourished since moving to Dortmund? Or will he turn out to be more like Michael Owen, whose career certainly wasn’t the same when he came back from his spell abroad? Going from better than a goal every two games at Liverpool, to just over one in every three when he came back.
Whilst his value is relatively cheap, £900k, that’s not really all that more than what Guedioura is worth, so would you be better off keeping Guedioura for another year or so. Position wise, he’s unlikely to get in the team ahead of new signings Alfa Semedo, Tiago Silva or key man from last year Joao Carvalho so he’d only be reduced to a backup role.
In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s best to leave this transfer alone. Get as much out of Semedo and Guedioura as you can, then reassess the situation next year, when hopefully Forest will be in the Premier League and they’ll be able to attract a much higher class of player.