The midfielder had been frozen out on Tyneside all season leading up to his deadline day move to the City Ground, not only failing to make a single matchday squad, but also being axed from the clubs squad photo.
The 28-year-old may have been hounded on Tyneside for his sub-par performances in recent years, but Forest fans are loving him.
He’s played the full 90 in each and every game since making the move to the Midlands and it appears they’re already desperate to sign him on a permanent deal in the summer after a string of solid performances.
Here’s what he’s had to say about the move today, admitting that it’s nice to feel ‘wanted’ – something he clearly didn’t feel from Rafa Benitez prior to his January escape route:
“It is nice to be wanted; it is nice to hear that you are.
“Nottingham Forest is a massive club and it has great potential here. I am really enjoying it here. But I am honestly not looking too far ahead at the minute. A lot can change in football overnight.
“I am just focusing on the last few games and doing my best for Forest in those eight matches. Then we will see.
“The key in January was to come here and play some games after being frozen out at Newcastle. The manager gave me the chance to do that here and I am thankful for that. Clubs act later on, towards the window. It would be rare for anyone to be talking about transfers now, with the season still to run.
“I will play these eight games then go away on holiday with my family and then take it from there.”
Whilst he’s clearly thankful to Benitez for giving him the chance to move on in January, it’s even more clear that he will have absolutely no future on Tyneside for as long as Benitez is in charge.
A permanent move away looks imminent this summer – a move that will suit all parties, allowing him regular game time and freeing up some space in our squad.