If you were to sum up Nottingham Forest’s midfield options as a collective, what would be the first word that comes to mind?
The above all fit the bill, don’t they?
One thing the Reds are not short on is defensive-minded options in that department.
If a deal can be done with Newcastle for the former loan star, then a starting berth should be his.
He will help to put out fires in the middle of the park and keep things ticking over.
As could a number of the others currently available to Martin O’Neill.
With that in mind, it is slightly baffling to see Kenny Burns calling for further investment in that area.
The Reds legend has said in the Nottingham Post: “Colback and [Ryan] Yates is a good midfield pairing.
“You might want someone behind them shielding the back four, a big physical presence who can win the ball and keep it.”
A holding midfielder?
Colback and Yates arguably slot seamlessly into that category themselves.
Neither can be considered creative influences.
They are certainly cut more from a ball-winning cloth than a ball-playing one.
As is Claudio Yacob.
The Argentine is unfortunate not to have seen more minutes since O’Neill returned to the City Ground – especially as he took the armband in the Northern Irishman’s first game back.
He offers those qualities that Burns feels Forest lack.
Shield the back four – tick.
Physical presence – tick.
Win the ball and give it – full house.
Adlene Guedioura is another experienced performer who combines both tenacity and passing ability.
Why would the Reds be looking to bring in yet another alternative?
Additions in the engine room may well be required, but the focus should be on making an impact heading in the opposite direction.
Forest need greater spark.
Somebody with the ability to dictate play from the middle of the park, while assisting the likes of Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho further forward, would be most welcome.
It could also be that said inspiration is sought more from wide areas than centrally.
A tricky winger may be preferable to a steady enforcer.
Either way, it could be argued that funds should be invested away from the area suggested by Burns.
There is no bottomless pit of cash.
Even more loan agreements will eat away at the wage bill and keep one eye locked on the bank balance.
If Forest are to spend, which is expected, then they need to ensure that they are bringing in players who offer something different and boast the potential to slot straight into the starting XI.