Jamie Ward joined Charlton Athletic on a short-term loan last summer and returned to the City Ground in January – he made nine appearances for the Addicks, scoring one goal.
Athletic manager Lee Bowyer admitted that he wanted to keep Ward for the season but didn’t know how much money it would cost, telling South London Press in December 2018: “It just depends what Forest want again and what Jamie wants.
“It is a difficult one. He has done well for us but we just don’t know what Forest are going to want for him. We were lucky to get him for what we did in the last window – it was right at the very end of it. We have got our budget, that’s the way it is. So a lot will rely on Forest.”
No deal materialised in January and Ward has since spent the last three months on the periphery, occasionally turning out for Forest’s reserve side. The 32-year-old has made only two appearances for the Reds since 2017 and is expected to leave at the end of his contract this summer.
Should Charlton be mad that Forest didn’t allow the 32-year-old to stay at the Valley in January? Given how little Ward has featured for the East Midlands outfit in recent years, it was unlikely he would have a part to play in the first-team for the remainder of the season.
Charlton could have benefitted a lot more with Ward in the squad. The Addicks are currently fifth in League One, nine points adrift of automatic promotion and 12 points clear of seventh place. With Ward expected to be looking for a new club over the summer, he could have put himself in the shop window at Charlton.
Playing reserve football at Forest won’t particularly impress suitors.