Nottingham Forest have put pen to paper and brought James Garner on loan to the City Ground as well as a permanent deal for veteran striker Glenn Murray. Will they be able to help the Reds find some form in the second half of the season?
Chris Hughton will be hopeful that his two late Trentside arrivals will help the Reds retain their Championship status as they look to climb up the table away from the relegation zone. In a bid to survive, the Reds have signed 19-year-old loanee James Garner on loan from Manchester United and 37-year-old Glenn Murray on a short-term permanent deal from Brighton.
James Garner is a young central midfielder who, before making 20 appearances on loan at Championship rivals Watford for the first half of this season, has been a Manchester United academy player since under-8 level. He is a player widely recognised for his passing ability and creativity on the ball, something which Forest have lacked this season, particularly highlighted in the 0-0 draw against Barnsley at the weekend where new signing Krovinovic’s flair was the main source of chances created for the Reds.
Garner has also played senior football for Manchester United, making his European debut in their Europa League clash with Serbian outfit Partizan. Forest will be hopeful that the loanee will be able to provide that energy that in some games has been lacking in midfield as well as help link the midfield to the attack, as the strikers have looked isolated and short of service in far too many games this season.
Glenn Murray has also signed for the Reds, on a short-term deal lasting until the end of the 2020-21 season. The experienced striker links up with his old boss Chris Hughton, with whom he spent a long spell with at Brighton. Speaking to the club, Chris Hughton says “Glenn is a player I know very well and he has an excellent pedigree at this level. Certainly, he will add leadership and experience to our squad between now and the end of the season”
The Reds will certainly look to Murray to net a few goals between now and then end of the season with both Grabban and Taylor struggling to find goal-scoring form of late. However, a 37-year-old who hasn’t scored in over a year may not be the most reliable option as they look to grip onto their Championship status. Murray is a proven goal scorer at this level though, netting a record 30 goals in the 2012-13 season. The Ex-Brighton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Reading man will have a huge challenge on his hands to find that kind of form again at a struggling Nottingham Forest, but Hughton will be hopeful of Murray’s heroics again.