Should Nottingham Forest now regret letting this goal machine striker leave?

Forest City Ground

Nottingham Forest allowed Joe Garner to leave the club for just £200,000 in 2011 - which now looks like a huge error.

Nottingham Forest's great start to the season seems like a long, long time ago now. After picking up 17 points in just seven games to begin the campaign, Forest have gone on to claim only five points from the next seven, with five draws and two defeats.

The honeymoon period appears to be over for new manager Stuart Pearce, with goalscoring becoming an increasingly concerning issue.

Summer signings Britt Assombalonga and Michail Antonio are being heavily relied upon for goals, with little contribution from other players in the squad.

The recent issues in front of goal just serve to highlight how a Forest decision in 2011 was potentially a huge mistake.

It was August 2011 to be precise. Forest agreed to sell striker Joe Garner to Watford for £200,000, just three years after splashing out £1.1m to sign him from Carlisle United.

Garner, an England youth international, hit 28 goals in just 49 games for Carlisle, but he couldn't replicate that at the City Ground, scoring only ten goals in 55 games that aforementioned move to Watford.

It didn't work out for Garner at Watford either, but in January 2013, he made the move to his boyhood club Preston North End. After a slow start to life at Deepdale, Garner went on to make himself a club hero last season, scoring 24 goals as the Lilywhites made the playoffs - where Garner made a name for himself with this stunning goal.

Some had wondered whether Garner's exploits were a flash in the pan, but he's continued to find the back of the net this term, hitting 11 goals in 14 games.

With Forest duo Dexter Blackstock and Lars Veldwijk goalless so far this term, many fans have already urged the club to re-sign Garner.

Whilst he would certainly boost their striking ranks, Garner would cost around £3m right now, and after forking out £5.5m for Assombalonga, it's doubtful that they would take another expensive gamble on a League One striker.

The truth is that Garner is now with a club who love him, and he's playing the best football of his career - and Forest are left to regret their decision, wondering what might have been had they kept the striker who looks like being the leading goalscorer in league football in 2014.

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