OPINION: Clough deal is great value for money

The transfer deadline day should be a national holiday. The sense of excitement at hearing your team linked with last minute deals for those final additions to the squad is similar to the sheer euphoria of seeing presents under the tree on Christmas morning as a kid.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 11:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 1:46 pm

The Mrs couldn’t quite believe how wide the grin on my face was at come 11.30 last night when I excitedly showed her my phone, which confirmed that the Reds had completed the double swoop of Zach Clough from Bolton Wanderers and Ross McCormack from Aston Villa.

Forget McCormack for a moment, it is the recruitment of Bolton youngster Clough that impressed me the most.

I have said for some time that the bottom two divisions of English football are littered with bright, young talents who are more than good enough to showcase their ability on the Championship stage, and in years gone by Forest have sat and watched whilst their second tier rivals reap the rewards.

So many players have gone unnoticed by Forest over the years and then shone in the Championship and eventually the Premier League.

I’ve seen some people suggest that the initial payment in excess of £3 million is too much to pay for a 21-year-old, but I actually think it represents superb value for money.

At Clough’s age he could go onto play at the City Ground for four-and-a-half years, rip the Championship apart and be worth close to £20 million by the time he even thinks about wanting to test himself at a really big club – if, of course, Forest aren’t back in the big time by then. We can only dream, eh?

I would much rather the club spends that sort of money on a lad who will relish the opportunity to play for the Forest badge every time he pulls a red shirt over his head, than another foreign import who doesn’t know the difference between Nottingham Forest and Sherwood Forest!

For too long Forest have resembled a stick in the mud when it comes to transfer dealings, sitting back and letting their rivals crack on subsequently forcing the club into signing players who nobody else really wants.

I genuinely don’t think our foray into the League One market should end here either, with the signing of Clough hopefully just the start of a new strategy in the transfer market by Forest.

I can think of three players currently playing in the third tier that would be top of my shopping list for the summer, with Bradley Dack (Gillingham), Ben Thompson (Millwall) and Josh Morris (Scunthorpe United) all players who I think Forest would be wise to peruse at the end of the season.

Forest can ill-afford to waste any more money. It needs to be reinvested into the future, into players with sell-on value, and not players who are over the hill, looking for one final payday before taking up punditry on the television or radio.

For what it is worth I think McCormack is a quality striker at Championship level and I welcome him to the City Ground with open arms.

The only thing I would question with his arrival is just how badly has his confidence been knocked following a torrid six months at Aston Villa?

Hopefully we can get him fit, sharp and scoring goals for the Reds, but for me, it is the permanent signing of young Zach Clough which ensures that the January 2017 transfer deadline day lives long in the memory for those of a Nottingham Forest persuasion.