Are Nottingham Forest serious in trying to get promoted this season? The way they are going, I don’t think they are. In this division you have to be aggressive in your movements in the transfer market. With the prize at the end of the tunnel being the massive Premier League finances, the old saying, you have to spend money to make money, comes to mind.
That’s why I think it’s ludicrous that Martin O’Neill is insisting on going down the cheap road by getting in the likes of Sammy Ameobi on a free and being linked with Alan Hutton, also on a free transfer.
In my opinion, it’s time to bite the bullet and just sell Joe Lolley. If Aston Villa are serious in paying anywhere near the £10m that is being rumoured for him, then surely they should sell and invest that money to buy players who will make an impact not just this season but for more seasons yet to come?
I’ve said before that I understand wanting to do things cheaply to avoid your own version of what happened with Leeds, Luton & Portsmouth, but in the grand scheme of things £10m worth of players isn’t going to be the difference between life and death. Add that to the likely fees you’d have got for selling Hillal Soudani and Apostolos Vellios, and there are ample funds out there for you to find the players to take your team over the top and into the top flight.
If you know what you’re doing in the Championship, you can build a very good team on a restrictive budget. Jamie Vardy moved from Fleetwood to Leicester City for £1m, Tom Cairney moved from Blackburn Rovers to Fulham for £2.8m, Isaac Hayden who was a crucial part of Newcastle’s title-winning campaign of 2016/17 was bought from Arsenal for £2.5m. Ross McCormack cost Leeds United £350,000 back in 2010, and although he didn’t lead them to promotion, he got 28 goals for them in 2013/14, so it wasn’t for lack of trying.
So you can still get cheap deals without having to go overly cheap and having to rely on free transfers. In this league you have to make tough decisions in order to achieve the goal of getting promoted. Let’s go back to Ross McCormack, after 42 goals and 22 assists in two seasons for them, they sold him on to Aston Villa and in the next two seasons made the playoffs and were eventually promoted, because they then invested that money in the likes of Kevin McDonald and Stefan Johansen, players that they needed to fill other, more important parts of the squad.
It may not be the most popular choice right now, but given time and given promotion, Forest fans will come to realise that it’s a decision that has to be made.