Why Nottingham Forest have struck gold with a new deal for Matty Cash
The 22-year-old has put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Reds, which should keep him at the club until the summer of 2023. (h/t BBC)
Cash has been one of the mainstays of Forest’s playing eleven in the Championship this term, featuring in all but one of the club’s first 17 league fixtures and playing a key role in what has been an unexpected surge for promotion for the two-time European Cup winners.
Essentially a versatile central midfielder by trade, Cash has flourished in a completely unfamiliar right-back role for Forest this season, with manager Sabri Lamouchi using him as a part of the backline to cope with injuries to specialist options Carl Jenkinson and Tendayi Darikwa.
The Slough-born ace was once again at the top of his game this weekend, as Forest absolutely demolished Mark Warburton’s QPR 4-0 at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium to climb up to 4th in the league standings.
That puts them just five points shy of Leeds United in the automatic promotion spot with a game in hand, and Matty Cash has been one of the prime architects of the Reds’ stellar start to the campaign.
Cash initially started his footballing education at Wycombe Wanderers before being spotted by Nottingham Forest while playing for the FAB Academy.
Having officially signed for the club as a teenager back in 2014, the 22-year-old burst on to the scene in the Championship in the 2016-17 campaign and he has gone from strength to strength over the past few years.
The versatile ace has accumulated a tally of 12 goals and 12 assists in 115 appearances for Forest in all competitions and his rich vein of form in the ongoing campaign, albeit in a right-back role, has already attracted interest from some of the Premier League clubs.
However, his new long-term deal could go a long way towards pouring cold water on those speculations linking him with a move away from the City Ground in the upcoming transfer window. Indeed, Matty Cash is presently one of Forest’s prized assets and it is a no-brainer that they have struck gold with a new contract for the versatile ace.
The 22-year-old has illustrated his versatility to play in different positions, including right-back, and he certainly holds the key to the club’s promotion hopes moving forward.
That the Forest youth graduate has been one of the standout performers at the club this season is well backed up by the numbers. As per whoscored, Cash averages 2.7 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 3.5 clearances and 0.7 key passes per game in the Championship, while chipping in with 2 goals and 2 assists in 16 appearances.
The Reds currently have a host of players out of contract at the City Ground next summer, including defenders Alexander Milosevic, Jack Robinson and Yohan Benalouane, as well as midfielders Ben Watson, Samba Sow and Claudio Yacob, and the fans will be hoping that a new deal for Matty Cash is the initiation of a contract renewal drive from Forest in a bid to secure the future of some of their existing players.
As for Cash, he has certainly done enough over the past few years to earn himself a long-term extension at the club. Forest’s impatience with managers has been well-documented under their Greek owner Evangelos Marinakis, and while playing under different philosophies hasn’t been easy, the 22-year-old has more than held his own to establish himself as of the team’s mainstays.
At 22, he is only going to get better with time and a new deal for him comes as a mark of renewed faith in the club’s own academy prospects.
Cash seems to have all the makings of a Premier League player in the years to come and Forest now find themselves in a strong negotiating position should any of the top-flight clubs come calling for his services.
Plus, he is the sort of player who can potentially save the club millions of pounds in the transfer market given his versatility to play in so many different roles across the pitch.
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All in all, a new long-term deal for Matty Cash is likely to sound music to the ears of the club faithful, regardless of which division the Reds play their football in the near future.