This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Imagine being this popular.
Dwight Gayle is a player that seemingly every club in the Championship wants to sign. Fulham, West Bromwich Albion & Leeds as well as Middlesbrough all expressed an interest at some point during the summer. Given his record at this level, scoring 59 in 100, you can’t really blame them.
According to Paul Taylor in his recent column for The Athletic, Nottingham Forest were among those in for Gayle during the window and after their display against Wigan on the weekend, he believes that they will do their best to be at the front of the queue again when the January window opens.
But just where would Gayle fit in the current Nottingham Forest side if they were to make a bid for him?
Bringing in Gayle would prove to be more difficult than it would seem.
Yes, there might be a portion of the Nottingham Forest fan base that wants him signed, but if you put him in the starting eleven, you have to take someone else out, and even change a few things along the way.
Forest have predominantly played this season in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lewis Grabban mainly acting as the centre-forward in that formation leading the line, which is where Gayle has played the majority of his career.
Neither of them will be willing to sit on the bench, so either one of them has to go, or you change things a little bit.
If you aren’t willing to drop one of them, the best line of attack is to change to more of a 4-2-2-2 system.
That does mean that most of the creativity is going to have to come from the wingers, but for Forest that shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle to overcome. Joe Lolley provided 11 assists last season so if he keeps up that same pace throughout this term it will be a good starting point.
This will, however, mean that there will only be room for one more central midfielder alongside Samba Sow.
Therefore, the likes of Joao Carvalho, Tiago Silva, Ben Watson, Alfa Semedo, Ryan Yates and John Bostock are all going to scrap it out to get that place. That would cause a potentially troubling scenario in terms of playing time.
So if they want to bring in one man, they might end up upsetting quite a lot more people in the process. Given they’re fighting for promotion is this a risk worth taking? It’s difficult to work out. Certainly on squad harmony, it might not be the best idea.
Whilst his goals might bring points, is it worth it to risk essentially putting so many people out of work for six months?