The Chalkboard: Nottingham Forest can’t rely on Goncalves if Lolley leaves

According to The Sun, Aston Villa have identified Nottingham Forest’s Joe Lolley as a potential replacement for Jack Grealish.

Should Grealish be prised away from Villa Park during the summer transfer window, then Dean Smith may launch a move for the Forest winger, who would be left in a difficult position if they lost their key man.

The Chalkboard

Lolley would be a smart replacement for Grealish. The 26-year-old has been in fine form at the City Ground so far this season and it is unsurprising that he is attracting interest from Forest’s rivals.

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Villa could certainly afford to prise Lolley away from Nottingham Forest, and should they do so, Martin O’Neill would face a tough task in replacing the English attacker.

Internal solutions limited

Diogo Goncalves is probably one of the players in the Forest squad right now most similar to Lolley. However, the 22-year-old has failed to shine during his time on loan at the City Ground so far, so it is unlikely that Forest will opt to make his stay permanent in the summer even if he has made the bench for all of O’Neill’s matches at the helm thus far.

The Portuguese wide man has done little to suggest that he has what it takes to replace Lolley should he depart the club, given he has only played 144 minutes of Championship football this term. This leaves the former Republic of Ireland boss’ options for seeking an internal solution to this dilemma limited.

Forest will almost certainly have to take to the market in order to source a replacement for Lolley, as keeping Goncalves at the club will not be enough to make up for the loss of the Englishman. 

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