When Blackburn Rovers reportedly offered £5m on transfer deadline day for Forest’s Ben Brereton, I, as well as I imagine the majority of most Reds fans, chuckled in disbelief thinking ‘well, that is never going to happen’.
Two weeks later and the England Under-19 international looks has now agreed terms with the Lancashire side, who have now moulded their bid into a loan, with a view to buy come the January transfer window.
Reports suggest that the expected transfer fee would be between £6-7m for the forward from the newly promoted Rovers.
Despite making 35 appearances in the league last year, Brereton’s place in the attacking pecking order has plummeted, with the experience of Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy, making him less favourable to manager, Aitor Karanka.
A loan did seem the most plausible career move for the 19 year old, as oppose to having a year effectively wasted on the side lines, as nothing more than a fringe player.
It is the view to buy clause in the deal however, which I believe could be Forest’s poorest piece of transfer business done this summer.
As premature as that statement may seem, if you consider the modern climate of player valuations, the £6-7m income we will be receiving is far off his actual price.
This is a player rated highly enough to be featured regularly at international level, be entrusted with a lone strikers position in a competitive, Championship league and attract interest from some of the countries biggest clubs.
Ben Brereton has shown at many points throughout the last couple of seasons, that he has the ability to be a future Reds star – Gary Brazil’s short spell in charge particularly, highlighted his threat when given the role of centre forward.
Since then the club has obviously progressed in its recruitment and the likes of Brereton clearly are not at the standard which he requires at the moment – but this is a young player with undoubted potential, a run of successive games would at a level suited to him at moment, would have highlighted that.
Whether this be at a League One or lower reaching Championship side, Karanka would have been able to assess the value of the forward after a full, regular season where he would be made a regular feature.
This would have either placed Brereton back in contention for a starting eleven place at the City Ground, boosted his valuation up higher if successful this season, or clarified that he is surplus to requirement in the future of the club.
Instead this move seems hasty and unlike the other moves, without an eye for the future of the club.
Letting a player of his potential leave without being given the chance to properly flourish, is a mistake Forest have made in the past and is not one I would like to see repeated…especially when we have to face Rovers in the New Year.
Picture Credit: Nottingham Forest