Josh Bowler to Nottingham Forest: Is it a good potential move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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Nottingham Forest have made a strong start to the transfer window and will be hoping to finish January with a flourish. 

That could include a move for Blackpool winger Josh Bowler, with the Reds said to be preparing an increased bid for him this month.

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Bowler only signed a one-year deal with the Tangerines in the summer, though they do have an additional one-year option.

With Forest set to up their pursuit of the 22-year-old, we’ve broken what the move would mean for the East Midlands club…

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Is it a good potential move?

Yes, it looks to be a deal that would make sense on both a short- and long-term basis.

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Given the links to Bowler and Millwall’s Jed Wallace among others, Forest are clearly looking to add some attacking reinforcements before the window closes and signing the Blackpool winger would help them do that.

He’s been really impressive since arriving at Bloomfield Road on a free transfer from Everton in the summer and is a player with a really bright future.

His contract situation may mean that the Reds can negotiate a cut-price deal with Blackpool, which would be further evidence of the new and improved transfer policy at the City Ground.

There is a strong argument to be made that depth is more important this season than ever and signing Bowler would ensure that Cooper has plenty of attacking talent to call upon.

It’s a signing that could boost their play-off hopes but the real benefits of it may well come further down the line as Bowler is still just 22.

Would he start?

No, I don’t think so.

Cooper is hardly short of attacking talent with the likes of Brennan Johnson, Phillip Zinckernagel, Joe Lolley, Alex Mighten, and Keinan Davis all options on the flanks.

Johnson and Zinckernagel, in particular, have been absolutely excellent this season and it’s hard to see Bowler coming in and displacing either of them.

He’d strengthen the attacking unit but you feel he’ll likely be down the pecking order should he make the move.

What does he offer?

A winger with pace and quick feet, Bowler is a fantastic ball carrier and his direct runs can cause real issues for opposition defenders.

The 22-year-old’s final ball delivery is impressive as well, both from set pieces and open play, but though he gets himself into good positions and has plenty of touches in and around the box, he’s not yet imposed himself as a goalscorer.

That only Keshi Anderson averages more key passes per game for Blackpool this term (Whoscored) illustrates what a useful creative asset he has become under Neil Critchley this season.

Confidence just seems to ooze out of Bowler when he’s on song and you feel he could slot into Cooper’s system at Forest well.

His versatility should also be useful for the Reds boss, with the Blackpool winger capable of playing both off the right and the left flank – though he favours the former.

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