A signing and, brace yourself – a LEFT BACK!!

Ryan Bertrand: A lesser-crested left back!

I wondered whether I’d posted too early on the subject of Ryan Bertrand – but it turns out it was right, because he’s signed a six month loan agreement today, which is also his 21st birthday.  Despite his tender years, he’s had plenty of experience at this level and in League One with long term loan spells at Norwich and Reading in the past.  And he makes a most welcome addition to the mighty Reds squad.

He’s recently graduated from the England U19 side to be included in the U21s under Stuart Pearce, and Reds fans will be pleased to know his single solitary professional goal came against Derby when he was at Reading.  Indeed, more pleasing is that it was the game where Savage had ended up in goal for the Rams!

He was converted from playing on the wing when younger, so whilst obviously his principle job is defending he’s known for his ability to get forward and support the attackers – which, given our typically narrow midfield formations, will be something that we would need ideally in any fullback – something Gunter does very well.  I’m really rather excited by this news, hopefully the six months is precautionary to give Chelsea an option to look at their 25 man squad in the window and hopefully extend the deal.

Welcome aboard, Ryan!  In being handed the number 3 shirt, I’m hoping you can do it justice!

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Rumour-ville and a new away kit..

Calum Davenport: In training with the Reds

The rumour-mill is going into meltdown as Forest leave squad-strengthening even later than we’ve become accustomed (indeed, in summer we seem to be more expedient in dealing with things usually).  With just a couple of days ’til the big kick off, Forest’s only signing has been the welcome addition of Raddy Majewski – and purportedly lots of approaches for numerous other targets.

Yesterday, against the backdrop of Cardiff City’s financial woes, the latest ‘sure thing’ that has been mooted is Forest’s move for highly rated winger Peter Whittingham.  In my view, exactly the kind of player we should be looking for (as well as a left back, obviously!).  Dangerous both from scoring and creating goals, and apparently in a position now where he won’t sign a new deal with his current club – who are in dire need of cash to balance their Risdale-riddled books.

Darren Pratley looks set to commit to Swansea despite the stories of ‘done deals’ that never quite rang true, and whilst I really do rate him very highly – if we were to sign him he’d enter a pool of players in central midfield which is perhaps where we are already well-stocked.  In a nutshell, I’d love to sign him, but not at the expense of positions that require more urgent attention such as left back, and a credible left or right winger (depending on how Billy chooses to deploy Ando next season).

The only bits of confirmed news are that fan-sightings of Calum Davenport training with the Reds are correct – Billy confirmed it, the defender is taking a chance to take a look at Forest, and vice versa.  The former West Ham and Tottenham defender has been out of action for some time after being attacked and stabbed in both legs, but certainly prior to this was an excellent Championship level defender and starting to show he could hack it in the top flight.

Of course, with that kind of lay-off there aren’t any guarantees but it could prove a shrewd move in attempting to acquire his services as he’s currently without a club.  Whilst the Wes/Wils combination worked well last season with good backup from Luke Chambers, I would like to see us have more competition for places at centreback (well, in every position, if I’m honest).  I wonder whether we’re looking to replace transfer-listed Paul Smith or go with a youngster to understudy Lee Camp?

Finally the Reds have unveiled their new away kit, which is – as predicted by many of you if my Twitter stream is anything to go by – white.  There’s a fair amount of red trim under the arms and around the collar and well, it’s okay I suppose.  It’s certainly an improvement on last season’s monstrosity, but I think I might just stick with a home kit this season, as I really liked that.  Particularly if it’s available without the Victor Chandler branding on the front.  You can check out the away kit by clicking here.

I have no inkling of what’s going on at the City Ground, but I have a feeling that surely… surely we must be looking to announce a signing today? (Mind you, if I happened to be writing a blog post most days this week I’d have probably said something similar!).