Why this 6ft 8in former Manchester City stopper’s arrival could affect Nottingham Forest’s future – SoccerSouls

Why this 6ft 8in former Manchester City stopper’s arrival could affect Nottingham Forest’s future

Costel Pantilimon

Why Costel Pantilimon’s Arrival Could Affect Nottingham Forest’s Future

One of Nottingham Forest’s last-minute deals was to bring giant goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon to the City Ground and it’s a move that has divided a few opinions around the city. The Romanian international stopper has joined on loan from Watford for the remainder of this season, having been recalled by the Hornets from the temporary spell at Deportivo La Coruna in Spain.

The goalkeeper, who is 6ft 8in tall, started his career back in his homeland with Poli Timisoara, where he made 115 appearances before joining Manchester City back in the summer of 2011. That was initially a loan deal before being made permanent.

Having only played seven times for Man City, Pantilimon moved to Sunderland in 2014, eventually making his Premier League debut in November of that year, having managed to usurp custodian Vito Mannone.

Pantilimon went on to play 45 times for the Wearsiders before moving on to Watford two years ago, ironically playing his first game for the club against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. In recent times though, Pantilimon has been used only as a second choice behind Heurelho Gomes for the Premier League side and so he decided to make the move first to Deportivo and now to Forest.

For me, I can’t conclusively say that he has done enough in England to warrant a starting place in a side like Nottingham Forest, ahead of a player like Jordan Smith who has played all of their Championship games in goal this term.

Given Pantilimon’s situation, I can only assume that Aitor Karanka has assured him that he will come in as the first choice until the end of the season, which may do more harm than good to the club. It would be fair to say that Forest perhaps needed another goalkeeper, but bringing one in to play ahead of a player who is still progressing and could go on to hold the jersey for a decade is disappointing.

Naturally, we aren’t all privy to training sessions and to what is said and done around the club when the doors are closed, but I’m still surprised that Forest have looked to essentially replace Smith in goal at this point.

In La Liga, Pantilimon’s six appearances for Deportivo have earned him a rating of 6.60 on whoscored.com while Smith, at a lower level it has to be said, has been going at 6.51. However, we need to think of the future here, which could be slightly stunted now.


  1. redinexile

    February 3, 2018 at 3:20 am

    What exactly is the point of this article and the stats which tell you nothing?
    Pantilimon has been brought in because Forest need a commanding keeper and presence in the 6 yard box. Karanka has signed a new spine to the team which is badly needed. Young Smithy needs a good mentor to improve his all round game before he becomes a top keeper. So on that basis we have signed a 10/10 to replace a 6/10.

  2. Michael Hopewell

    February 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    10/10 is a bit overstated, if he was that good he’d already be number one choice at a better club than Watford. He’s obviously more experienced and being that tall makes him favourite for plucking out high crosses etc, but is he as agile as Smith who may be lacking in several areas of his game, but has made some remarkable reaction saves that would have beat a lot of keepers

  3. Real Red

    February 3, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Maybe the keeper at his last club is just that bit better, certainly Gomes is a top keeper. Compared to Smith who is constantly mis-kicking, lacks authority and does not command his box then Pants is a 10 on experience alone. He has been signed to do a job..provide decent competition. Nothing about the article makes any sense bearing in mind that we do not even know if Smith HAS been dropped yet! Also look at Portsmouth whose keeper has been superb but is set to be replaced by Henderson as Jackett wants to take the young player out of the firing line..Aitor is doing something similar.

  4. Real Red

    February 3, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    An article based on nothing but guess work and obvious bias..Smith has not been dropped yet and before that even happens you slag off the manager. The reality is that Smith has been riding his luck..his kicking is poor, he does not command his box and he lacks authority. He is a top drawer shot stopper but there is more to the game than that. Pants is signed until the end of the season on, Karanka is seeking to reset the attitudes and approach at the club and experience is needed for that.

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