Nottingham Forest have made a blistering start to the 2019/20 campaign with the Reds currently sat in second place in the Championship.
The Reds lost to West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the campaign but remain unbeaten in 10 league games since that loss.
Sabri Lamouchi has quickly established his best team and a firm understanding of what it takes to succeed in the cauldron that is Championship football.
Naturally, with the Reds flying near the summit of the division, potential suitors from the top-flight are casting their attention towards the City Ground.
The Sun recently linked Newcastle with a January move for Joe Worrall. The central defender has played every league game for the Reds this season after impressing on loan at Rangers during 2018/19.
The report does have some discrepancies. It says that Worrall is out of contract in the summer for starters. He isn’t. It also mentions the term ‘cut-price’ and if any club are to sign the enforcer, it certainly won’t be on the cheap.
Forest have been here before with the 22-year-old. Burnley boss Sean Dyche previously made an £11.5 million bid for Worrall back in January 2018 (Daily Mail). It was quashed by the Reds who have rated him highly for several years.
When the Clarets’ bid was rejected, he was still relatively raw despite making 50 appearances for the Forest first-team. Worrall now has 69 appearances to his name for the Reds; as well as 32 on loan at Rangers which included Old Firm games and Europa League outings.
With the latest interested club being Newcastle, the natural comparison will be made between Worrall and Jamaal Lascelles. The current Magpies central defender signed for the club from Forest in 2017.
Future looking bright
Lascelles earns £70,000-a-week (Daily Mail) at Newcastle and the club has done wonders for his career. Worrall isn’t all about the money, however, and staying put and being successful at the City Ground would mean far more.
There is a real sense that Forest can achieve big things in the Championship this season and Worrall looks like playing an integral part under the stewardship of Lamouchi.
Having captained the club in two cup games this season, there are also predictions from supporters that he will permanently occupy the armband once Michael Dawson retires. As a boyhood supporter of the club, that would mean far more to Worrall than being fast-tracked to the Premier League.
Forest are a club seemingly on an upward trajectory. Given that Premier League clubs are known to throw silly money around, it’s fair to say that every Championship player will have a valuation.
His form this season suggests that Worrall has to be viewed as one of the best young defenders in the second tier. As a result, any bid from Newcastle would surely need to be astronomical for Forest to remotely consider selling.
The Forest man won’t welcome any bids though. His behaviour throughout his time playing first-team football has been admirable. He always speaks about the Reds being ‘his’ club; coming across as a player who wakes up every morning appreciating how lucky he is to play for Nottingham Forest.
As a professional, of course, he will want to play in the Premier League. He will hopefully have seen enough at the City Ground this season, however, to warrant sticking with Forest and avoid jumping ship as Lascelles did.