Why Nottingham Forest should seek to sign Derby County's Darren Bent this summer

Forest City Ground

Derby County’s Darren Bent has featured sparingly this season.

Nottingham Forest undoubtedly have a big summer coming up as they look to move out of their transfer embargo and improve what has become a significantly depleted squad.

The Tricky Trees have endured a tough Championship campaign this season, relying on a number of loan players to fill the squad and suffering long winless runs under two different managers.

Dougie Freedman was given his marching orders midway through March, and his successor Paul Williams has since seen his team slip to 18th position following an eight-game winless run.

Forest’s underlying problems has been goals, as their current tally of 37 is the second-joint lowest in the league with struggling MK Dons the only team to have scored less with 35.

And considering the club’s top scorer Nelson Oliviera is currently on loan from Benfica, a huge void upfront will need filling this summer if the club wish to steer well clear of relegation next season.

Paying a fee for a player could prove problematic for the club, therefore they could be restricted to free transfers and one potential option which would make a lot of sense is Derby County’s Darren Bent.

The former Aston Villa man joined the Rams on a two-year deal last summer so he will be under contract, yet his lack of game-time at the iPro and expected high salary could tempt the club to let him go for free.

Bent has managed just four Championship starts all season, and the January arrival of Nick Blackman has pushed him further down the pecking order with Chris Martin the regular striker.

The 32-year-old’s biggest problem at Derby is the team’s preferred style of play. A possession-based game will never suit a striker of Bent’s ability, yet Forest’s counter-attacking style certainly would.

With the likes of Henri Lansbury now playing in a further forward role, a player like Bent who plays on the shoulder of the defender would be an ideal short-term option for the East Midlands club.

Despite being huge rivals, transfers between Derby and Forest over the years haven’t exactly been uncommon and a deal for Bent could be in the best interests of both clubs.

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