McGugan completed a short-term loan switch to Sheffield Wednesday earlier this week, signing with the Owls until the turn of the year.
Having been outcast at Watford, whom he only joined at the start of last season, the 26-year-old midfielder admitted that he needed to be playing first-team football, and Wednesday are the Championship team to benefit - with McGugan one of the best players in the second tier on his day.
However, his day comes far too seldom to be useful to a promotion chasing side, and, although he netted 10 goals in 34 games from midfield position last season, he was deemed surplus to requirements this term, with the Hornets possessing such talents as Almen Abdi, Gianni Munari and Daniel Tozser.
In the Wednesday ranks, McGugan is arguably the best midfielder they possess, and he will likely put in a number of good performances in his early weeks at Hillsborough, before returning to his usual, below-par self.
Having started the season in superb form, Forest have struggled for results in recent weeks, and their on-pitch difficulties coincided with the injury to Andy Reid, who could well be out until the new year. The main creator in the midfield, Reid’s lack of energy is supported by hard-working players around him, and he is used for nothing more than his footballing abilities - which are Premier League level.
Since his injury, the first-team have been affected by his absence, and McGugan could have been the perfect short-term replacement to slot in to the first-team, seeing as he fulfils the exact same role a Reid. Neither work hard whilst on the field, but both offer creative ability that far exceeds many players in the Championship, and the Reds have struggled to play the system forced upon them without Reid there to act as creator.
McGugan performs his best in his first few weeks at a new club, and the ‘honeymoon period’ upon his return to Forest could have seen him though until the end of his loan deal, when Reid would return and take up his mantle in the first-team. He could never be a long-term replacement for the Irishman - something that Forest still need to address - but he could have seen through the job needed of him until the turn of the year, when it is likely Watford will be open to selling their once-promising midfielder.