It appears that Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton has found the left-sided central defender he’s been looking for.
According to The Mail’s live transfer blog (19th December, 11.12am), Forest are attempting to seal a loan deal for Chelsea starlet Jake Clarke-Salter in the January transfer window.
The 20-year-old is a huge talent and, after helping England win the Under-20 World Cup this summer, was promoted to Chelsea’s first-team squad - and even made an appearance against Forest in their 5-1 EFL Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge in September.
The classy, left-footed Clarke-Salter certainly fits the bill for Warburton in terms of style. But is he really the answer to Forest’s defensive problems?
Forest conceded 73 goals in the Championship last season as they were forced to wait until the final day to secure their survival. And they’ve also let in 37 in 22 games so far in 2017/18, with individual errors never far away.
But will an unproven youngster with just 15 senior appearances under his belt really be capable of solving a defence all on his own?
A constant debate among Nottingham Forest fans is whether the club need to sign better defenders or simply defend better. Though if they went with the former, does it make more sense to target a player with Championship experience, a leader who could focus those around him - and cut out the silly mistakes which cost Forest points and goals on a regular basis?
Clarke-Salter is a defender of real potential, but sorting out Forest’s fragile defence is a lot of responsibility to put on a youngster’s shoulders.
Then again, if Clarke-Salter can replicate the impact of John Terry during his loan spell at Forest in 1999/2000, he may prove to be a surprisingly astute addition. Nottingham Forest didn't lose any of the six-games Terry started for the club and, after gaining cult hero status, returned to Chelsea and soon started to dominate their backline too.
17 years on, Clarke-Salter will be hoping to make a similar impression.