Former Nottingham Forest midfielder Jermaine Jenas has stated that he regrets leaving the City Ground so early in his career. 

The 36-year-old came through the ranks at the City Ground before making his breakthrough in the 2001/02 First Division campaign. He was only 17-years-old at the time and was highly-rated by the club.

However, ‘JJ’ only made 33 appearances for the club in all competitions before leaving.

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

He joined Newcastle United in 2002 for £5 million, which helped ease the financial troubles the Reds were facing at the time.

He was a huge success at St James’ Park, and went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers.

The midfielder also managed to earn 21 caps for England at senior level, contributing one goal. If it wasn’t for his injury troubles, he would’ve likely earned even more.

 

Speaking to the Nottingham Post about his departure from the City Ground, the pundit said: “When I first left I was a youngster and I didn’t even want to leave weirdly enough.

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

“I used to wake up every Saturday watching the fans walking to the stadium, going into the Trent End and I’d be thinking ‘I’m just about to go and play there’.

“It was a dream. It was what I’d always wanted to do, to go and play for my club.”

Jenas did make a surprise return to the City Ground in 2012. He joined on a month-long emergency loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur. He managed to find the back of the net in a 4-1 win against Barnsley at Oakwell with a sublime finish.

(Photo by Stu Forster/ALLSPORT)

The Reds have struggled to keep hold of their young players since Jenas was sold back in 2002.

The likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Karl Darlow, Oliver Burke, Ben Brereton and most recently Ben Osborn have all left the club in recent years.

The Reds will be hoping that the next crop of young players will stay at the club for the long-term.