Martin O’Neill’s first full transfer window at Nottingham Forest, should be set to be a busy one. You doubt that O’Neill will want to be in the Championship for a long period of time, and with the bookies placing them at very long odds to get promoted, any changes they make need to be 100% spot on, no room for error.
They’ve made a good start in their list of targets, particularly at goalkeeper. They head into the season with 30-year-old Costel Pantilimon, 34-year-old Luke Steele and 24-year-old Jordan Smith who spent the latter of last year on loan at Mansfield Town. With Steele unlikely to make challenges for Pantilimon’s number one spot, they’re looking for outside talent to put up a fight, starting with Manchester City’s young Kosovan Arijanet Muric.
Forest have been linked with a loan move for the young man for some time now, however I think they need to go one step further and make this move a permanent one.
The fact that they are going after him at all shows that Martin O’Neill sees something in him and with Ederson unlikely to go anywhere soon at Manchester City, and with a string of other more experienced goalkeepers behind him, aging though they are, Muric is hardly likely to get any significant game time at The Etihad for a long time. So why not go the whole hog and make the move permanent right out of the gate.
He’s shown his ability when presented with the opportunity that makes you believe he can handle himself at a Championship level, having kept four clean sheets in Manchester City’s EFL Cup run this season and being their saviour in their penalty shootout victory against Leicester City, saving penalties from James Maddison and Caglar Söyüncü. Not just at club level, but he’s also managed to get the attention of his international side.
Now a regular in the Kosovo squad, he’s five appearances for them since making his debut for them back in November. Although he’s not yet a regular in the matchday squad, a task made even harder by the fact that Samir Ujkani the man who is ahead of him is also the captain, you get the feeling that a few more appearances to get his name in the spotlight, particularly in a side that is chasing promotion, might just be enough to tip him over the edge and claim that number one spot.
A permanent move to Nottingham Forest could be the platform he needs to make a career for himself, similar to how Kasper Schmeichel left Manchester City to forge a career with Leicester City,
This lad has a very bright future ahead of him, and he isn’t going to get any better warming the bench in Manchester. With a value of just £1.80m(transfermarkt.com) a move like this wouldn’t break the bank for Forest and could turn out to be one of the best moves they make this summer, giving them the perfect platform to build a strong team not just for this season, but for a long time to come.