According to The Sun, EFL Championship promotion-hopefuls Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, are set to join a transfer tug-of-war over Belgian hitman Renaud Emond during the January transfer window.
Emond has already racked up an impressive tally of 7 goals in 14 Jupiler Pro League appearances for Liege so far, helping his club climb to 3rd in the Belgian top-flight, whilst also playing a role for them in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.
Leeds have already been handed a massive boost ahead of the January window, with Arsenal confirming that they will not recall academy prospect Eddie Nketiah from his loan spell at Elland Road midway through the campaign (h/t Sun).
Nottingham Forest, on the other hand, have been linked with plenty of strikers ahead of the January window as the two-time European champions look to bring in some cover and competition for first-choice Lewis Grabban, who is currently the club’s top-scorer in the Championship with 10 goals in 20 appearances.
The likes of Dwight Gayle, Connor Wickham, Ibrahim Sissoko and Guillaume Hoarau have all been linked with moves to the City Ground and in-form Belgian striker Renaud Emond has become the latest to hit manager Sabri Lamouchi’s radar.
Emond turned professional in his homeland with Royal Excelsior and subsequently featured for Waasland-Beveren before completing a move to Standard Liege back in 2015.
The 28-year-old has racked up some impressive numbers over the course of his stay at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne, accumulating 43 goals in 138 appearances and guiding the club to two Belgian Cup triumphs.
As per the report, the Belgian’s red-hot form this term has caught the eye of Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Norwich City. A fee of around £3million in January would be enough to prise him away from his homeland for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest lost valuable ground in the playoff race with a 1-1 draw against strugglers Middlesbrough at home on Tuesday night. Ryan Yates’ goal was cancelled out by Paddy McNair’s late penalty as the Reds were forced to share the spoils in what proved to be a frustrating game for Lamouchi’s side.
Forest’s lack of depth in their striking options was once again on display, with Grabban enduring a rather lacklustre outing by his lofty standards. Wolves loanee Rafa Mir has failed to make any kind of a positive impact so far and he once again remained an unused substitute in the midweek fixture.
To put things into perspective, it is a no-brainer that Nottingham Forest need to bring in a new striker in January to release the pressure on Lewis Grabban . An in-form hitman like Renaud Emond could well be the man to answer their prayers.
The 28-year-old’s lack of professional experience outside his homeland makes him somewhat of a risky proposition for a promotion-chasing team in the Championship but Emond certainly fits the bill.
Furthermore, the Belgian’s wealth of European experience, as well as his bulky 6ft. 1-inch frame could make it easier for him to acclimatize to the hustle and bustle of the English second-tier.
Emond boasts of a decent strike rate at Standard Liege and it is easy to see that Forest’s promotion hopes would receive a massive boost if he manages to hit the ground running during the second half of the campaign.
As evident from the rise of Tiago Silva, Brice Samba and Samba Sow at the City Ground this term, Lamouchi is more than capable of extracting the best out of little-known players and Renaud Emond could be the next big name to join that list.
All in all, Forest’s links with the Belgian striker certainly strikes the right chords.
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