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EFL Championship leaders Newcastle United are reportedly going back in with a bid for Nottingham Forest midfielder Ben Osborn. The 22-year old was the subject of an approach by the Magpies earlier in the January transfer window, but they were sent back by Forest. But manager Rafael Benitez is going back in for Osborn in the upcoming summer window.
Newcastle occupy the top spot in the Championship and with only ten games left in the season, they look good for a promotion back to Premier League next season. And rightly so, Benitez is preparing for the upcoming season by identifying key targets in the transfer market.
And Osborn, according to reports, is high up the list of his targets. Newcastle, in the past, have raided Nottingham Forest, having signed first-choice goalkeeper Karl Darlow and club captain Jamaal Lascelles back in 2014. Now they look to be mounting another move for a promising talent coming through Forest.
Osborn, 22, has been with Nottingham way back since 2003, having joined from bitter rivals Derby County and came through the ranks in the academy, before breaking into the first-team in 2014. He soon became a cult figure after scoring a late 92nd minute winner against rivals Derby County in the 2014-15 season and has grown in stature ever since and has become an important player for the East Midlands side.
The young winger has continued to impress this season for Forest and has been a rare bright spark in what has been a largely disappointing season so far. Osborn has scored four times so far this season, which includes a spectacular volleyed strike against Bristol City back in January that sent the social media into a tizzy. He has also assisted five strikes for his teammates and has been the main creative force in the attacking third for Forest.
Primarily a left-sided midfielder, Osborn can operate in a central role as well. Known for his excellent quality on the ball and his abilities from set-pieces, the 22-year old has demonstrated great character and determination on the field. Closing in on his 150th appearance for Forest at such a young age shows the amount of experience that Osborn has garnered in his brief career.
Newcastle United may seem well-stocked in the wide areas, but the fact that Yoan Gouffran is in the last few months of his contract and is yet to be offered an extension is a cause of concern for the fans. With Christian Atsu’s temporary stay at the St. James’ Park also closing in on an end come May, the Magpies suddenly seem short-handed on personnel on the left-flank.
In Osborn, Newcastle will be getting their hands on a promising talent who will strengthen them in a key position and will come in for a relatively cheap fee. Young and loaded with potential, the 22-year old would also jump at the chance of playing in the Premier League next season. All in all, the deal looks like a good piece of business for both the parties and Newcastle should definitely pursue their interest.