Sky Sports have reported Newcastle United interest in signing Ben Osborn.
The Guardian also saying that their information is that the Forest midfielder is interesting Rafa Benitez.
A week into the transfer window and this transfer story is just one of many, so is it any more likely than others.
Like most of you, the name Ben Osborn didn’t really mean that much to me, but he did play in both Newcastle matches against Forest this season.
He is only 22 so has age on his side and plays is an attacking left-footed midfielder, usually either playing through the middle or one the left.
The reports have claimed a likely transfer fee of between £4m and £5m so he would seemingly be within Newcastle’s reach financially, though having signed a four year contract in summer 2016, Forest are in a strong position and not seeing a player in danger of imminently leaving for nothing at the end of his current deal.
Looking at the stats though and you have to admit that Ben Osborn starts to looks a possible attractive option, if Rafa Benitez decides to go for him.
Despite his relatively young age the midfielder has been first choice for Forest for some three years now, delivering each season.
So far this season, Ben Osborn has scored one goal and grabbed five assists in the Championship.
To give that some kind of perspective, Newcastle’s list of players when it comes to assists see both Shelvey and Ritchie with six each this season, though the others show as Colback (0), Hayden (2), Gouffran (3), Diame (2), Atsu (0), and Perez (2).
So playing for a struggling Forest team, Osborn’s five assists look impressive in comparison.
The previous two seasons have seen Ben Osborn score 3 goals with 5 assists last (2015/16) season, with 3 goals and 4 assists the previous (2014/15) season.
Osborn’s 5 assists last season, compare with the following Newcastle stats of Shelvey (3), Colback (1) and Perez (2). Whilst at Hull, Diame for 4 and Hayden 0, Ritchie with 6 for Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Both Shelvey and Ritchie are clearly Newcastle’s best options at the minute when it comes to creating goals and their stats from past seasons back that up, Shelvey’s three assists last season coming after he arrived at Newcastle in the January.
Rafa Benitez has already said how difficult it has been to try and land signings in this window, so interesting to see if he will consider a player like Ben Osborn, a young midfielder with what looks really solid form at this level – with potential scope for more in the future at a higher level.