Since Zach Clough’s last minute deadline day departure from Bolton Wanderers to Nottingham Forest in January, the forward has seemingly struggled to find his feet and secure himself a place in the starting XI week in week out which makes me wonder whether a potential loan return is on the cards twelve months on.
Having seen Forest play a couple of times on TV and not seeing Clough on the pitch makes you wonder whether or not the move was right for him and whether it was right for us.
There were initially rumours linking him to Aston Villa which appeared to be Clough’s ideal destination, however, rushed last minute negotiations with Forest looked to have been a hopeful punt for a quick source of finance for Wanderers which didn’t quite go to plan and appeared to simultaneously deny Clough his opportunity to join up and shine in a Villa squad what is arguably a much better one than Forest’s.
This also would've been less of a kick in the teeth from a Wanderers supporter’s point of view.
What makes things more depressing is that the fee was allegedly less than what Villa had offered the local lad which makes you think that the Forest sale money, in the grand scheme of things when you consider the debts, previous winding up orders, etc, would've been a drop in the ocean in terms of contributions towards these and has done very little to benefit us financially since.
As a result, this has presumably triggered chairman Ken Anderson to cash in on the deal we have in place with Arsenal for Rob Holding.
With little initial consideration therefore as to whether or not the sale was the right thing, when you look at it from a whole new perspective a year on down the line, to keep Zach would've seemed by far the better option for both parties and is likely to remain to be the best option for both parties even now and could prove to be a realistic move once the transfer window opens.
As ever, we are continuing to look for better players to strengthen our squad and the unique qualities which Zach offered is something which we are yet to replicate in any of our current players or new signings and considering he bought a house locally before his move to Forest, a return move closer to home could potentially be rather an attractive offer for the youngster and would presumably be warmly welcomed by Wanderers fans too.
Now out of the transfer embargo and still looking for attacking options, you would've thought that it would make sense to turn to Zach and to have him linking up with the likes of Josh Vela and Adam Le Fondre again would be a god-send for Bolton given our current situation and could see us safely retain our place in the Championship for next season.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not the player or Forest themselves would be keen on this, however, you do have to say that it makes perfect sense, and as much as I’d like a re-union with Rob Holding whilst were at it, considering his impressive start to life at Arsenal, the Clough scenario seems to be by far the more realistic option.
As you can imagine, this is all hypothetical, but this is something which is could become a genuine possibility and has the legs to gain momentum should the player and both clubs be keen, however, we shall have to wait and see what happens.
Keep an eye on this one.