One in, one out at Forest

With the arrival of Filip Krovinović, and the departure of Zach Clough, Nottingham Forest’s transfer window finally got going on Friday. Whether Chris Hughton has more players in mind remains to be seen

As Hughton predicted earlier in the month, “Most work seems to get done in the second half of January, as opposed to the first half.” With just under a week left in the transfer window, it’s still hard to separate the rumours from the truth.

Filip Krovinović has arrived on loan from Benfica, after his season-long loan to West Bromwich Albion was cancelled. The 25-year-old midfielder made 40 appearances for the West Midlands side last season as the Baggies achieved automatic promotion.

The Croatian is described as “a very creative and technical player, a natural attacking midfielder, with good passing and movement, and is an intelligent offensive footballer.”

Hughton said: “Filip comes with good pedigree and a player we’ve been tracking for a while. We have found it difficult to get the goals that we’ve needed to win more games so this is an area we’ve been looking to strengthen.

“In Filip we have a creative player who played a full season of Championship last year so knows the division. This had a strong bearing in my thinking and, from an offensive point of view, he gives us more options”

Zach Clough finally ended his Forest nightmare by agreeing a permanent move to Wigan Athletic. The 25-year-old arrived at the City Ground in January 2017 from Bolton Wanderers for £2.5m, but only managed 27 appearances in his first two seasons and, aside from some loan spells, has been confined to the ‘bomb squad’.

Clough said: “I’ve not played too much football but I’m excited to get going and I can’t wait. “Physically I’ve been working really hard with the U23 group at Forest. The schedule is really intense with people like Andy Reid taking the sessions every day. They’re really good coaches and I have been on a good gym programme so I’ve been developing a lot off the pitch and working on my game a hell of a lot — I’m in a really good place physically.”

Ryan Yates’ calf injury against Middlesbrough sees him join Harry Arter and Jack Colback in the treatment room, and with Samba Sow’s injury record… obviously we’ve been linked with another 30-year-old midfielder — Dan Gosling.

The transfer window rumours are endless and somewhat tedious — Josh Murphy, Glenn Murray, Ravel Morrison — or alarming… Brennan Johnson being linked with a move.

The January transfer window is never a good time for value or securing long-term targets. But maybe it will be a stop-gap, given this car crash of a season.

Without an extended break, Hughton’s progress will continue to be gradual — confidence was, and is, an issue, and the summer is undoubtedly when comings and goings will be easier and hopefully more strategic. Transfers remains an area that needs a huge overhaul.

When he joined Brighton & Hove Albion in December 2014, Hughton took over a side in 21st place. By the end of that season, they finished in 20th place. These things take time.