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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Forest Facing Battle to Keep Crown Jewels

The downside to any team performing well and especially younger players playing well is that those prize assets will attract attention from bigger fish. Those bigger fish being namely Premiership clubs. Those prize assets being Jamaal Lascelles, Karl Darlow and Henri Lansbury. Yes there are other players playing well (namely Reid) but these 3 have youth on their side and therefore investment potential.
Jamaal Lascelles


There has been rumours for a short while about Lascelles and Darlow being scouted, and many top clubs will have known the potential Lansbury had for a while, and is now realising. The other part of this is that Lansbury game is adapting and evolving and making him more appealing.

The battle is whether we sell for reinvestment opportunities and strengthen the squad. Yes we have cash but we cannot simply ignore and flout Financial Fair Play. Similarly any player has a price, and if someone offers a silly one, and just a very good one would we snap their hands off?

Every player is replaceable, no-one isn't. Lascelles is performing well but by rights he shouldn't have ever had this chance to shine, which he hasn't grasp with both hands, but grappled it to the ground and pummelled into submission, he has taken it so well. He was of course very strongly linked with Arsenal a few years ago. At the start of this season he was being linked with League One loans, namely Cheltenham. Now that's a distant memory.

Karl Darlow
Darlow has grown into a fine keeper. The expectation is with a younger keeper is that there ill be a few errors in the game, stuff he learns to adapt and get better. Not Darlow, he has not really made too many glaring howlers or allowed some bad habits to creep into his game. Indeed he has kept Dorus de Vries as firmly his number 2.

Henri Lansbury when he arrived was regarded as more a creative attacking midfielder, or indeed a wide man. Through necessity and his own development he can now play that deeper role too, and has taken on the mantle of the no.10 shirt very well. This season started with him weighing in with a few more goals, and has now seen him putting in some excellent deeper lying midfielder role.

Henri Lansbury
Now the type of club is the type that many will immediately scoff are not a bigger club and why would they go there. But they are in the Premier League, the holy grail. It is unclear if we will make it this season even if we give it a good go. And for all the calls for Billy for the board to make investment and secure promotion anything could happen. Even Davies would admit every player has a price.

But you only need look at some teams established in the top flight for teams who held on to their top talent. Southampton being a prime example, who held on to top youngsters and are now reaping those rewards as those players improve with them. Lallana and Schneiderlein attracted lots of attention previously. They held, and now look at where they are.

Southampton are ironically one of the linked clubs, with Darlow, as they struggle to settle on a keeper to go forward. Sunderland, and Hull were linked earlier this season. Lascelles has been linked with Spurs amongst others, again Sunderland and Aston Villa. And Villa were also being linked with Lansbury not long ago, along side other mid table Premiership clubs.

We aren't alone. Derby young stars are similarly attracting interest. Will Hughes is a prime example. And would clubs do a Palace and sell now and then loan back, or just sell and reinvest? Or do well hold on and see what could be a peak price drop and lose for nothing, like with McGugan?

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