By Danny Wright
Gary Birtles believes that Nottingham Forest could face losing Britt Assombalonga in the summer if he feels undervalued by the fans.
The 24-year-old is the club’s top goalscorer in all competitions this season but has only struck nine goals in 24 appearances for the club.
The striker has only scored in two of his last 18 appearances for the club and Forest supporters are calling on Gary Brazil to drop him from the starting line-up in place of either Zach Clough or Ben Brereton, who have both been in top form for the Championship strugglers.
Birtles reckons that Assombalonga may become subject to a number of bids in the summer and has hinted that it may be in Nottingham Forest’s best interest to cash in on the goal-shy striker.
“In my opinion he’s still an exceptional centre forward and I’ve no doubt speculation about him will resurface again in the summer,” said the Forest legend in his column on the Nottingham Post website.
“If he feels under-appreciated then I wouldn’t be surprised if he considered his future given everything that has gone on behind the scenes since he signed.
“Forest have lots of potential, but they just aren’t delivering on it and given how many admirers Assombalonga has, they might want to capitalise on it.”
Birtles had two spells at the City Ground during his playing days and was part of the squad that won back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980 when Brian Clough was in charge.
As a forward he scored 70 goals for the club in 209 league games and also managed three caps for England.
Birtles also spent two years at Manchester United between his two spells at Forest before winding down his career across the river Trent with Notts County before eventually retiring at Grimsby.
In other Nottingham Forest news, Gary Brazil offers his thoughts on Nicklas Bendtner’s time with the club.