Scout report: Forest fan on Gunter
With great thanks to Nottingham Forest season ticket holder Howard (@Howcro), we have asked a few questions on our new signing Chris Gunter. We uncover his strengths and weaknesses and whether he can crack it in the Premier League.
1) In a nutshell, what sort of a player are we getting?
A committed, hard-working right back who likes to get forward. One of our prized assets.
2) Do you begrudge Gunter for making this move?
No. Despite our new owners pledging a return to the 'glory days', that's obviously far from guaranteed and we only avoided relegation by the skin of our teeth last season. We're a long way from the Premier League at present. He's given everything in his time with us and he deserves the opportunity to play at the top level.
3) What are his strengths?
He's very good at getting forward, providing support on the overlap and can produce a decent cross, resulting in four assists last season. Despite this, it's rare to find him out of position at the back. He has good pace and knows how to nullify the threat of a winger. He hasn't had many injuries. Additionally, from your point of view, he knows Garath McCleary pretty well!
4) What are his weaknesses?
There's no immediately obvious ones that come to mind. We played him at left back several times last season and he was far less effective, as you'd probably expected from a naturally right-sided player. Noticeably in these games I felt we missed him at right back and looked far more vulnerable down that side. And perhaps he could be a little stronger in the tackle at times, but that's moving towards nit-picking.
5) Do you feel he is capable of playing in the Premier League?
Absolutely, he's only 22 and has plenty of experience at Championship and international level. Signing him in the first place (from Tottenham) was a bit of a coup in my opinion. There's been rumours of clubs sniffing round him for the last couple of years, particularly in January this year when it was known we had to sell in order to buy (see Wes Morgan!). I've always thought of him as one of our best players, one we would struggle to hold onto if we didn't get promoted sooner rather than later. It's frustrating to see him go when we have aspirations of reaching the Prem and assumingly not in need of the money now, he's a player who would always be one of the first on the teamsheet.