Date: 6th February 2018 at 3:20pm
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The shrewdest of signings for Forest?

We`ve needed a rebuild at Nottingham Forest for a while and Aitor Karanka has certainly taken it upon himself to move quickly in that respect, making the most of his short spell in charge so far and bringing in a number of fresh faces.

The latest acquisition of the Spaniard is the capture of Ben Watson, who was available for free following his release from Watford last week, and he`s a player who can be a massive positive influence upon the younger members of our side.

At 32-years-old, Watson is in the twilight years of a career where he spent the majority of his time with Wigan, winning the FA Cup with the Latics in 2013, and the fact that he`s achieved a lot in his career can provide inspiration to the rest of the squad.

Watson may end up being a vital piece in that puzzle as the experience that the midfielder provides, having played many seasons within the Premier League, can be invaluable to the less established players in our ranks.

It remains to be seen whether Watson will get regular opportunities in the first-team though, especially as Adlene Guedioura and Jack Colback were both signed in January and have impressed so far, but Watson`s greatest impact could come off the field.

We`re blessed with plenty of young and talented players at the City Ground, many of whom are likely to enjoy successful careers in the future, but our downfall in recent campaigns has been the failure to keep hold of these players.

It may then seem counterintuitive to sign more experienced players to take slots in the first-team, and potentially restrict the opportunities that the more younger players in the squad receive, but the likes of Ben Osborn, Kieran Dowell, Andreas Bouchalakis and Matthew Cash can learn a lot from players like Watson.

A more obvious positive is the fact that our recruits in the past month have shown that Karanka is able to lure a higher calibre of players to the City Ground, as lower-ranked sides in the Premier League could of perhaps benefitted from the addition of some of our recent recruits.

Watson had made eight Premier League appearances for the Hornets prior to his release last week and sides threatened by relegation from the top-flight would have found the experience he provides beneficial to that battle – but Karanka moved swiftly to win the race.

Earning first-team football in the top-flight this season with a Watford side who have largely performed above expectations shows that Watson is far from a spent force and is instead a player who can provide a big boost to us in the months ahead.

We`ve now entered a period of consolidation, ahead of what will hopefully be a more successful campaign next term. Watson and the more experienced players brought in will be vital to that, helping to guide the younger players towards success.