Joe Worrall was flattered by interest from West Ham United and Southampton in the transfer window but insists he never planned to turn his back on Nottingham Forest, in quotes reported by Hampshire Live.
With all due respect to one of the most historic footballing institutions on British soil, the phrase ‘blind loyalty’ springs to mind.
While Worrall deserves immense credit for sticking by his boyhood club, you have to wonder at this stage whether it’s high time he put self before side rather than the other way around.
Forest’s long-serving captain deserves far better than to spend his days nailed to the bottom of the Championship table. If he didn’t have Garibaldi red flowing through his veins, he would surely have upped sticks and walked away from the City Ground long ago.
It’s not as though he’s been short of offers either.
Will Joe Worrall revisit Southampton and West Ham interest in January?
The Greatest Showman was new to UK cinemas when Worrall was first linked with a move to Burnley four years ago, while top-flight duo West Ham and Southampton both expressed interest too before landing Kurt Zouma and Lyanco respectively.
According to The Athletic, Crystal Palace also made an enquiry about the £10 million-rated former Rangers loanee.
“I’d have loved to go to Real Madrid or PSG – but that didn’t materialise!” Worrall quipped when asked why he decided to stay at a club that continues to find new ways to flounder.
“Personally, I’ve watched Forest since I was a young lad, as everyone knows. It has always been a dream of mine to play for Forest.
“I don’t really let all that sort of stuff (rumours) affect me. I think that’s clear to everybody. My head was never away from Forest, ever.
“It was very flattering, and you always see stuff. No matter how well you play, you always get linked with different clubs. But, for me, I was always set on playing for Forest.”
Forest need all the loyalty they can get. After losing five of their first six Championship games, reports have suggested Chris Hughton may be on borrowed time at the City Ground with Chris Wilder and John Terry mentioned as potential replacements.