They say you should never go back.
But Nottingham Forest fans are not in the slightest bit worried that Michael Dawson will tarnish his legacy by making an emotional return to the City Ground. Quite the contrary.
The defence has been Forest’s Achilles heel for a number of years now and, after surviving by the skin of their teeth last season, they are still to solve this age old problem. Conceding 46 goals in just 29 Championship games, only the bottom two of Burton Albion and Sunderland have been breached more frequently throughout 2017/18.
So when the news broke on transfer deadline day via the Nottingham Post that Dawson had agreed a two-and-a-half year deal to pull on that famous red jersey again, Forest fans were united in displaying their excitement all over social media.
Whining about Dawson's age but wasn't Des about 37 or 38 when he was mentoring him in the centre of our defence and helping us get to the Championship play-offs? Get Daws back and make him captain #nffc— stevestoned (@intothewood10) January 31, 2018
Why keep an unhappy player and let him go for free in the summer - The first ever Forest team I watched featured Michael Dawson so I can’t wait until we see him in a red shirt next season, as for now I hope he gets Hull relegated #NFFC— Aaron Whiley (@AaronWhiley) January 31, 2018
Michael Dawson's signature would have been the icing on the cake yesterday but I'll lay odds he'll be here at the next opportunity #nffc— Geoff Cameraman (@n55ffc) February 1, 2018
If we get Dawson now I’ll name my first child Aitor #nffc— Jonathan Fox (@jonathanxfox) January 31, 2018
Please let this Michael Dawson rumour be true. Install him as skipper next to Joe Worrall where he can well and truly Miyagi him! #nffc— ForeverForestTV (@ForeverForestTV) January 31, 2018
Just imagine the disappointment, then, when Hull blocked the move at the eleventh hour.
But fear not Forest fans. Dawson is out of contract in the summer and Forest manager Aitor Karanka has already confirmed that the club will make a renewed effort to bring this ‘proper defender’ back to the club he left 13 years ago.
And the prospect of Dawson becoming the new Des Walker at Forest, while being the Mr Miyagi to Joe Worrall’s Karate Kid, should raise hopes that the days of shoddy defending will soon be over.