January has been a relatively quiet month at the City Ground as Steve Cotterill has fervently attempted to keep his squad together with interest in a number of his players from high profile clubs. After three bids for long-serving centre back Wes Morgan, Cotterill finally accepted an offer of £1million from Leicester City. Morgan had played 402 games for the Reds, scoring 14 goals since he signed for Forest as a teenager in 2002. Although he is the only departure from the club so far, Cotterill had work hard on deadline day to retain the services of a number of other players.
Teenage talent Patrick Bamford had been linked with a £1.5million move to Chelsea. Having scored nine times in two FA Youth Cup games, Bamford has attracted the attention of the top clubs with Chelsea the most likely bidders. Late in the day, the club announced that the promising young striker would be leaving the club for West London.
26 year old Adlene Guedioura has been acquired on loan from Wolves until the end of the season. The central midfield player cost Wolves £2million in 2010 and has played 21 games for the Premier League side since then. He is also involved with the Algerian national team, having made 9 appearances for them in his career to date. After an impressive display from Guedioura against Burnley he is sure to become a a steadfast member of Cotterill’s first team.
January also saw the return of club favourite Marlon Harewood from China. The veteran centre forward began his career with Forest in 1996 and has since played for West Ham, Aston Villa, Wolves, Newcastle, Blackpool and Guangzhou. After 8 years, Harewood made the decision to return to the City Ground, making the switch at the beginning of January. In his Forest career he has played 204 matches and scored 56 goals.
Forest were linked with a deadline day move for Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham. Forest were in search of a loan deal until the end of the season as a replacement for Wes Morgan. Cotterill was hoping to bring in two defenders as he looked to rebalance his squad. Indeed, Higginbotham made a late move to the City Ground as Cotterill bolstered his defence in time for the away match against East Midlands rivals Derby County. The previous Stoke City captain has been recovering from a knee injury for some time and he will look to continue this recovery with Nottingham Forest.
Futhermore, Cotterill managed to bring in young Manchester United defender Scott Wooton. He has previously enjoyed loan spells at Tranmere Rovers and Peterborough United, having played 18 times professionally. 20-year-old Wooton played for England under 17s in 2007 and is a promising young defender from Birkenhead.
There is no doubt that the departure of Wes Morgan will cause disruption at Forest. However, the arrival of three players on deadline day, including two defenders, will help to rebalance the squad and may kick-start Forest’s rise up the table and out of the relegation zone.