Luke Chambers completed his transfer to Ipswich Town on Monday, Joel Lynch joined Huddersfield Town on Tuesday and with speculation that Tottenham have bid for Jamaal Lascelles, there’s a real danger that — takeover or not — the club are already in dire straits.
The new season starts in just over five weeks and, as it stands, we have no experience at centre-back and signs that our most promising youngster could be off to Spurs.
Chris Gunter remains the only first-team defender and while Kieran Freeman can play left-back, his natural position is right-back — Brendan Moloney completes the trio of right-sided full-backs.
If the proposed takeover is completed this week and Steve Cotterill — if he remains manager — can use the same transfer market nous that brought in the likes of Guedioura, Higginbotham, Elokobi and Wootton in the January window, there might be a chance of the new players gelling before the season starts.
But with the pre-season trip to the US kicking off this weekend it’s all looking very much like last summer when Steve McClaren missed the start of the Portugal tour to bring in new players.
Eleven players have left the club since the last season ended, including loanees: Smith, Wootton, Chambers, Higginbotham, Elokobi, Boateng, Guedioura, Lynch, Anderson, McCleary, Cunningham and Harewood.
If Lascelles is to leave it certainly won’t be until the takeover is completed but as it stands we need a left-back, three centre-backs and two wingers — if not more.
Say what you like about Chambers but with over 200 games for the club he deserves a lot more respect than some of the abuse he has received — and eighteensixtyfive perfectly summed up the situation. Meanwhile, Lynch was one of Forest’s best performers last season and it looks like he’s turned down the offer of a new contract in favour of Simon Grayson’s newly promoted side.
Rumours on Twitter suggest there could be ‘other’ news announced when the takeover is tied up — but, as with all rumours, we’ll take that with a pinch of salt.
There are still many reasons to remain positive but talk of promotion this season should, as ever, be a hope rather than an expectation. The next month could be very exciting but if there are big changes at the City Ground they’re likely to produce gradual, rather than instant, results.