“Cannot look past Steve Cooper” – 27-year-old’s best option amid Bournemouth, Forest, Blades, West Brom interest: The verdict | OneFootball
“Cannot look past Steve Cooper” – 27-year-old’s best option amid Bournemouth, Forest, Blades, West Brom interest: The verdict
Football League World
This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Recording three goals and 10 assists in 41 Championship appearances this term, he has been one of the brighter midfielders in the division during the 2021/22 campaign and his progress hasn’t gone unnoticed.
West Bromwich Albion were one of the first sides reported to be interested in his signature with Steve Bruce keen on keeping tabs on the free agent market this summer, though they will only be able to offer him second-tier football next term following an underwhelming season.
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AFC Bournemouth, on the other hand, have secured their return to the top flight and despite being rejected in their quest to recruit Rothwell during the winter, they have retained their interest in his services.
And two play-off opponents in Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United are also in the race, with the former set to offer the 27-year-old a contract regardless of which division they find themselves in next season.
But which option would be the best one for the midfielder at this stage? To answer this question, we asked three of our writers at Football League World to provide their verdicts.
Rothwell has got a big decision to make regarding his future and where he chooses to sign. With Bournemouth currently the only side who are confirmed to be playing in the top flight next season, they are clearly the most attractive offer as it stands.
At 27-years-old, the midfielder will be keen to make the step up to the top flight at this stage in his career. However, he must also consider the amount of playing time he would get and if he wasn’t an assured starting player, he could end up stagnating his growth.
With the departure of James Garner at Nottingham Forest, there is a clear gap for him in the side there suggesting he would get regular minutes.
However, with West Brom definitely competing in the Championship next season, that’s another place where he knows he will be assured of minutes.
At Sheffield United, the option could be there although with uncertainty over a few contracts there, it’s still hard to tell whereabouts he would be in the pecking order.
There are certainly pros and cons for every side and this is a decision likely to be dependent on the play-offs and the news of contracts for other players at these clubs.
However, right now despite wanting to aim for the top level possible, West Brom looks as though it would be the safest option that would assure Rothwell minutes on the pitch and a chance to be a core part of the side.
At this stage of his career, Rothwell should be choosing the manager he is going to play under very carefully.
Sheffield United could be a sensible bet if they win promotion to the Premier League, but if they do not it seems unlikely they will mount a commanding push towards the top end next season.
West Brom are unstable under Steve Bruce and Bournemouth could be set for a very difficult campaign in the Premier League.
You cannot look past Steve Cooper and Nottingham Forest, the Reds will be preparing for a rebuild if they do not go up this season, which Rothwell could be a key part of and on the flip side they will need to improve their strength in depth if they do go up, which the 27-year-old would also contribute to.
There are positives to all four destinations, but Forest is the most attractive at this moment in time.
Whereas a host of clubs have been linked with a move for Rothwell ahead of the summer window, it could be argued that a switch to West Bromwich Albion could be the best option for him.
Although the Baggies are currently able to call upon the services of Alex Mowatt, Jayson Molumby and Jake Livermore, Rothwell outperformed all three of these midfielders last season in the Championship.
Taking this into consideration, there is a strong chance that the midfielder will feature week-in, week-out in the second-tier next season for West Brom which is exactly what he needs to be doing at this stage of his career.
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