Martin O’Neill is on the hunt for a left-back this summer as Nottingham Forest don’t have a natural option at the back after selling Danny Fox to Wigan Athletic. Jack Robinson and Ben Osborn operated at left-back in makeshift roles in 2018/19, but O’Neill sees the former as a centre-back and the latter as a midfielder.
Pete O’Rourke from the Football Insider reportedly earlier in May that Forest had their eye on Caner Cavlan whose contract expires in the coming weeks, but they’ll have to battle Olympiacos, Real Betis and a number of other clubs for his signature. Cavlan joined FC Emmen on a one-year deal in 2018 and could be on the move for the third consecutive summer.
The 27-year-old signed for De Graafschap Doetinchem Youth from DZC ’68 Youth in 2005 and rose through the youth ranks to the first-team in 2012 before moving to Heerenveen in 2015. Cavlan was loaned out to Sanliurfaspor (January 11, 2017 – June 30, 2017) and Boluspor (August 7, 2017 – June 30, 2018) before he joined Emmen (July 1, 2018).
He scored (4) and created (6) 10 goals in 34 Eredivisie games, creating 56 chances, averaging 41 passes-per-game with 78% accuracy, making 27 successful dribbles (54%), winning 16 aerial duels, taking 70 shots with 29% accuracy, whipping in 195 crosses with 27% accuracy, blocking 58 shots/crosses/passes and averaging a tackle (86) or interception (46) every 23 minutes.
Cavlan is a defender who has a good eye for goal, high levels of creativity and isn’t afraid to run at his opposite marker. He’ll give Forest a threat on the left-wing and will do his defensive duties diligently. O’Neill may have found the ideal left-back for a potential bargain.