Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton could be in for a busy summer of transfer activity as he looks to build a squad which is capable of thriving in the Championship next season.
Having already decided to launch a major overhaul of his squad by releasing a number of players last week, it will be intriguing to see what approach that 62-year-old takes in terms of recruitment.
Whilst the Reds are fairly unlikely to splash the cash this summer unless they decide to sell one of their prized assets, they could potentially turn to the free agent market for inspiration as many individuals will be hoping to find new clubs between now and August.
Forest may also benefit from handing Brennan Johnson and Jordan Gabriel the opportunity to prove themselves in the Championship following their impressive loan spells in the third-tier last season.
Whereas Johnson managed to set League One alight by reaching double figures in terms of goals and assists, Gabriel played a key role in helping Blackpool seal promotion via the play-offs as he made 29 appearances for the club.
Having illustrated some real signs of promise at Bloomfield Road, it is hardly a surprise that Gabriel is attracting a considerable amount of attention from elsewhere ahead of the transfer window.
According to the Daily Mirror's live transfer blog (06/06, 13:07pm), Blackpool and Portsmouth are both interested in signing the 22-year-old on a permanent basis.
However, it is understood that Hughton is willing to give Gabriel the chance to showcase his ability in pre-season.
Since being handed his senior debut in 2019 by former Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi, the defender has seen his game-time limited due to the presence of Cyrus Christie who featured in 44 of the club's 46 league games during the previous campaign.
However, Gabriel could potentially be in line to become a regular starter next season due to the fact that Christie's loan spell at the City Ground reached a crescendo last month and fellow full-back Carl Jenkinson has been told to find a new club by Hughton.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
When you consider that Gabriel still has plenty of time left in his career to develop into a classy operator, it would unquestionably be a foolish decision to cash in on him this summer.
Having illustrated that he is capable of competing in the third-tier by averaging a respectable WhoScored match rating of 6.60 last season, the defender will now fancy his chances of competing at Championship level for Forest.
By learning from Hughton's guidance in the coming months, there is no reason why Gabriel cannot potentially make the full-back position his own.
However, if Hughton feels as if he cannot trust Gabriel and is unwilling to give him the game-time that he needs to flourish, the Forest boss ought to look into the possibility of sending him out on loan again next season.
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