Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow departed Nottingham Forest under a grey cloud back in 2014; seemingly sold against manager Stuart Pearce’s will.
Offloading talented youngsters on the cheap was a frequent occurrence under Fawaz Al-Hasawi but it is safe to say those of a Forest persuasion had been keen to keep the stopper.
Darlow hasn’t always found things easy going at St. James’ Park and this season he has fallen way down the pecking order.
Aston Villa and Leeds United have been linked with a move for the out-of-favour stopper, according to Football Insider, whilst his availability could alert many more.
Seat Pitch looks at two pros and two cons to the re-signing of Karl Darlow…
Pro – Good Championship goalkeeper
Darlow knows what it takes to get out of the second tier having formed an instrumental part of Newcastle’s title triumph in 2016.
The former Forest academy man would arrive back at the City Ground as a more accomplished custodian than the one which departed in 2014.
The 28-year-old would add superb quality to the goalkeeping department and his experience of the division would probably shine through.
Con – Backward step
Although Darlow would represent a solid, if perhaps a little unspectacular signing, should the club pursue a player who they have already made a significant profit on?
It is four years since the player departed the East Midlands and both he and the club have since moved on.
Some supporters will probably still resent the sale of Darlow all those years ago and some might not be so keen to welcome him back.
Pro – Upgrade on the current crop
Costel Pantilimon has struggled for confidence this season and Luke Steele has spent the majority of his career playing second fiddle, making it fair to say that Darlow would represent an upgrade.
Many supporters have already made their minds up over current number one Pantilimon and his relationship with the fans seems untenable.
Darlow might not be Karanka’s first choice January target, but he would definitely offer Forest a degree of quality between the posts.
Con – Value for money
Having spent a substantial amount on players during the summer, the Reds need to ensure they are getting real quality for any January additions.
According to the report on Football Insider, it could take up to £4 million to prise Darlow away from Newcastle, asking the question as to whether he is really worth such a sum.
With Kieren Westwood and Tom Heaton also likely to be available this January, it looks pretty conclusive that cheaper and more suitable options could lie elsewhere.