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Nottingham Forest Enquire About Will Smallbone
Tuesday, 31st May 2022 08:56

After returning to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years Nottingham Forest are now making preparations and according to reports have made enquiries with Southampton regarding midfielder Will Smallbone..

James Garner of Manchester United was pivotal in Forest's promotion campaign, but the East Midland's club are seemingly not hopeful of signing him given the news that they have contacted Saints regarding the availability of Will Smallbone.

Ironically Saints are also one of the clubs linked with Garner, so Smallbone's short term future could depend on where Garner goes.

Smallbone looked set to break into Saints first team squad on a regular basis before sustaining an injury at Leicester in January 2021 which kept him out for the best part of the rest of the year.

However he was used in the final part of the campaign just finished and showed himself to be a tidy midfielder.

However the question is still there as whether he can oust the experienced players ahead of him in the pecking order and at 22 he needs to be getting in the side on a regular basis.

In many respects he can be compared to ex Saint now at Fulham Harrison Reed, so far Smallbone has started 8 Premier League games for the club with another 8 off the bench, that is very similar to Reed's career at St Mary's where he started just 6 games with 11 off the bench.

He too at the age of 22 found himself on the periphery at Saints and then went on loan to firstly Norwich, secondly Blackburn and finally Fulham before joining them permanently two years ago for £6 million.

So the question will be that if he goes, will Smallbone go on loan or on a permanent deal.

Reed spent three seasons out on loan as he was on wages that were too high to be matched by a Championship or lower Premier League club, another legacy of the period when players such as Alex McCarthy, Jack Stephens and others including Reed were given long contracts on wages that their contribution level did not merit and therefore stayed put.

He had a year left when the then newly promoted Fulham paid £6 million for his services.

Smallbone has two years left on his contract and although his Saints career matches Reed's he hasn't the experience on his CV from loan spells.

Therefore his potential permanent transfer value will not be the £6 million that Reed commanded, Saints would be lucky to get half of that.

I would therefore surmise that the club will perhaps be more interested in a loan deal than a permanent move, like Reed his actual transfer value could improve with a seasons experience away and in some respects it could be better to gamble on that, a loan move would remove his wages from the books from the season and at worst he would not be worth much less in a years time, at best he could have blossomed into a player we want to keep and the middle ground is that he does well and like Reed his fee rises due to that.

Will Smallbone has had some bad luck in his early career at Saints, whether his future lies at St Mary's or elsewhere all Saints fans will surely wish him the best of luck.

Photo: Action Images

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halftimeorange added 09:17 - May 31
Will Smallbone reminds me of Jack Cork - a busy and reliable player but, not in the "star" category. He is, in my opinion, the sort of player who would benefit now from aggressive direction from an experienced defensive captain. Unfortunately, we don't have that man in our ranks yet.

Block8 added 09:45 - May 31
A loan deal would be prudent & probably should have happened last season. There's a player in there, we have all seen that, how good he can be needs to be discovered. A loan is a win/win if he shows some ability his price will rise, if he shows great ability we can integrate him into the team and could save us a fortune!
We need more of our youngsters on, decent, loans to asses their capabilities if they have potential keep them if not move them on. It might just save us some money on other clubs youngsters!

highfield49 added 10:30 - May 31
Unlike several other players Smallbone has not looked out of his depth when given playing time and if Forest are interested in signing him then he's one that we should be keeping on the books. In fact I don't think we should be rushed into any decision about Smallbone or Che Adams departures before they've had the opportunity to play the pre season games. Other clubs hold out for the best deal right up to deadline day so let's offload those players with little or no future before we even contemplate losing those of significantly better quality.

JoeEgg added 13:27 - May 31
Any chance we could loan out our Ralph? Or better still an exchange of managers and we can throw in Smallbone and a hand full of others to make up the difference!

saint901 added 14:22 - May 31
Looking at him the few times I've seen him play, I'd rather he was playing against us than for us.

If we can get some change for him, let's do it.

OoohTerryHurlock added 14:28 - May 31
I’d loan him to Forest for a season and review the situation at the end of it. A run of games in a good attacking team may unearth a great player. He won’t get that with Ralph as his boss.

I_would added 14:43 - May 31
He's was Ralph's favourite. Then he wasn't. Then he was. Then he wasn't. Then he was. Similar to half the team.

Monksway added 17:22 - May 31
Definitely not. Don't loan to relegation rivals and let Cooper turn him into the star that kept them up and sent us down!

underweststand added 08:09 - Jun 1
Will was a good Academy product with a bright future, but at 22 he should be playing regular football -- somewhere. He should recognise that a permanent move means he will probably be in their starting side every week - for a while at least.
If Forest really want the player - they should buy him, especially as a potentially low fee would be mere "tea money" for a Prem. club - even a newly-promoted one.

If he goes on loan, he can develop into a good prospect in " the man's game ", and not stay on as a B team / bench player with Saints. He will spend a lot of time on the bench, maybe getting a sub-on in the final 20 minutes, or waiting for "a regular" to get injured .

Managers take loan players to get "back-up" for their own staff and not necessarily to develop someone else's talent. In a year's time he may have done well, but will still be a Saints player and probably worth far more, and Forest will start their hunt all over again.


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