Nottingham Forest fans would have liked to see Sam Byram back at the City Ground, but may have the next best thing in Carl Jenkinson.

A new arrival on Trentside does, of course, have everything to prove.

Premier League experience and a senior England cap counts for little at this stage.

They are notable entries on a decent CV, but Jenkinson finds himself at a career crossroads.

Much like Byram did back in the summer of 2018.

He was acquired by Forest with a questionable injury record and a lack of regular game time under his belt in recent history.

Another fitness setback was suffered within a matter of weeks.

Byram was, however, to prove his worth when given the chance to show what he is capable of.

The plan is for Jenkinson to do likewise.

Belief

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Hopefully there will be no repeat of the early injury problems endured by Byram, with Forest needing someone to nail down a right-back berth.

Jenkinson believes he can be that man.

He has told the club’s official website: “From speaking to the head coach, it’s clear that the club has real ambition with the signings that have been made and although it is going to be tough to get out of this league, we’ll give it a real go this year.

“The Championship is a very challenging league. It’s physical with a fast tempo and most teams play with a high press. It is a massive challenge but it is a league I’ve played in before so I know what it’s all about and I’m looking forward to getting started.

“The gaffer was one of the main reasons behind me wanting to come here to be honest. I liked what he had to say about his footballing philosophy and the way he wants to play.

“I’ve come from a football club that likes to play the right way and I wanted to join a club that plays that same way so that was important to me and the gaffer was very clear on that.

“I’ve played four games this pre-season and I probably played more than the other Arsenal boys on the tour of America because one of the lads got injured and I ended up playing three games on the bounce. I’ve got plenty of minutes in my legs already so I’m raring to go now.”

Springboard

 

Jenkinson needs regular games in order to shake any rust.

Over the course of the last three seasons, he has taken in just 22 appearances.

Nine of those came in the Championship, during a loan spell at Birmingham in 2017-18.

That spell did not go entirely to plan, while he was always going to find it difficult breaking back into the fold at parent club Arsenal.

Forest, though, can provide the springboard he craves.

Byram linked up with the Reds with only 36 outings to his name across three years.

He was able to hit the ground running, either side of an enforced break, and looked to be the answer in a problematic position.

Jenkinson now has the chance to end any frustration when it comes to Byram and his summer switch to Norwich, rather than Nottingham.

If he was good enough to represent England back in 2012, then he really should be capable of making his mark with Forest as a 27-year-old ready to reignite his career.