It’s been rumored all weekend and now it’s come true: Liam Bridcutt has joined Nottingham Forest on a three year deal.
The former Leeds United captain had to know the writing was on the wall about his playing time under new head coach Thomas Christiansen during the summer transfer window after the club brought in a number of new midfield players, including another central midfielder in Mateusz Klich. And even without the new players coming in, Eunan O’Kane, Kalvin Phillips, and Ronaldo Vieira had already made good cases to start in front of Bridcutt during preseason.
Of course, to add fuel to the fire of speculation, Christiansen went out of his way to not only talk about Bridcutt but also to mention how the player was still in his plans at the club. It is rare for managers or coaches to talk about how starting quality players who are happy and content at the club are still in the plans of the manager.
All fine with Liam Bridcutt medical. That's a done deal. Three-year contract at Nottingham Forest, fee in the region of £1m we're told.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 21, 2017
Once it appeared that not only had Phillips and O’Kane cemented their places as the first choice central midfield pairing, but that Vieira and Klich had been preferred in the middle of the pitch over Bridcutt, it was only a matter of time before he left. A player of his age and experience should be playing first team football and it seemed to be a good time to let the experienced professional move on to another club. Getting a good fee for him, around £1 million, and getting his wages off the books can only help a team like Leeds that is looking to spend as much money as they can under FFP to help the first team gain promotion.
Bridcutt played well last year, but he was always going to have to make room for the future, with Vieira and Phillips both coming up the ranks of the club from the Academy. It’s a sad but predictable result that he would be moving on as soon as the new manager came in. Good luck Liam.