With Matt Ritchie said to be interesting Stoke, should Nottingham Forest be putting themselves in the picture for a proven Championship performer?

It is not difficult to argue that they should be.

In many ways, it is surprising to see the 29-year-old being linked with a summer move.

Particularly to the second tier.

Maybe there is no substance to the speculation.

That would hardly come as a shock at this time of year.

And taking into account the fact that said rumour has surfaced in The Sun.

If Ritchie is available, though, then he should have plenty of options to consider.

Martin O’Neill would be advised to put himself in the mix.

Should Stoke believe that a deal could be done, then why shouldn’t Forest be able to counter that?

Ambition

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

If the right ambition can be shown, there is no reason to favour the Potteries over Trentside.

Forest have made plenty of Premier League noises.

Players of Ritchie’s ilk would help them to back those up.

There are, however, plenty of ifs, buts and maybes to be taken into account.

Ritchie is still tied to a contract at Newcastle that has two years left to run.

He would likely not come cheap, both from a transfer fee angle and a wage packet one.

Evangelos Marinakis has shown, though, that he is prepared to pay for the right players.

Ritchie may not be considered the right fit.

If he were to want a left wing berth, then Joe Lolley is already a Player of the Year pick for the Reds in that berth.

It could, however, be that O’Neill looks to make more of the three at the back formation which worked so well in a late season victory over Middlesbrough.

Havoc

 

In that system, Lolley moves more central and is freed to wreak havoc alongside Joao Carvalho.

At left wing-back, Ritchie could be a great option.

Better than Ben Osborn.

A Forest academy graduate could be nudged back in the direction of Stoke – following apparent interest in January – and everybody can cover their bases.

A statement of intent can be made by the Reds.

There is no suggestion that O’Neill is in the aforementioned market, but he may decide it is for him.

Discussions are already due to be held with Newcastle regarding Jack Colback.

The hope is that a permanent deal can be done for the former loan star.

When the Magpies are on the phone, maybe it will be worth asking the question of Ritchie as well.

What’s the worst that can happen?