Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of experienced midfielder Liam Bridcutt for £1million from Championship rivals Leeds United. The 28-year-old has signed a three-year deal at The City Ground and will now be looking to force his way into Mark Warburton’s side.
The midfielder had a successful spell at Leeds last season under Garry Monk but had not been used by new manager Thomas Christiansen so far this campaign. He made 24 league appearances for the Whites in the 2015/16 campaign while on loan from Sunderland before making the move permanent last summer.
We take a look at the reasons why Bridcutt could prove to be yet another astute addition by Warburton at Nottingham Forest this summer as he looks to turn the club’s fortunes around.
A good move for Bridcutt
It is easy to understand why Bridcutt was frustrated with his lack of game time so far this season considering he captained the side under Monk last season as the Whites agonisingly missed out on a place in the playoffs. However, he just does not seem fancied by new manager Christiansen who has instead opted with the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane in his starting line-up.
It says a lot about Bridcutt’s character that he was looking for the move away because he wants to be playing first team football at this stage in his career. He is a player with Premier League experience, and he clearly feels he should be playing football week in week out. Christiansen has praised his attitude following his departure and has wished him well at his new club.
Is Bridcutt the final piece of the jigsaw for Nottingham Forest?
Nottingham Forest supporters have reacted very positively to the announcement of the 28-year-old’s arrival at the club with many feeling that he is exactly the sort of player they need. The Reds have an abundance of attacking quality but lacked an experienced player who could sit in front of the back four and pick up the pieces. David Vaughan and Chris Cohen are Warburton’s main options for this role, but both are nearing the end of their careers and are not the most reliable when it comes to staying fit.
It is a void that Warburton has clearly been looking to fill all summer, and he has finally been able to get his man. The deal seems to have gone through relatively quickly since speculation first surfaced at the end of last week.
The reason for the fee being in the region of £1millon is because Bridcutt was entering the final year of his contract and therefore Leeds did not want to take the risk of losing him on a free.
Can Forest continue their good start against Leeds this weekend?
One of the most interesting aspects of this deal is that Nottingham Forest actually face Leeds in The Championship this weekend at The City Ground. It will be interesting to see whether Warburton opts to include Bridcutt in his starting line-up and allow him to make his debut against his former club.
Players are usually excited when playing for their former employers so Warburton may be tempted to throw the midfielder straight into the mix especially considering Vaughan is still a doubt with an injury he picked up in the 2-1 win against Middlesbrough.