Matt Fryatt has left Hull City to join Championship side Nottingham Forest on a free transfer.
The striker was out of contract at the KC but despite being offered fresh terms by Steve Bruce, has opted to return to the East Midlands in a bid to play regular first team football.
Though his last two seasons with the Tigers were spent mainly on the treatment table or the bench, his exit will sadden many supporters who witnessed a first-rate finisher that settled in very quickly after joining from Leicester City in January 2011. He scored on his debut in a 3-2 win at Portsmouth, rattled in a hat-trick at Scunthorpe a month later and ended that season with nine goals. In 2011/2, he was impressive throughout, scoring 16 times, including another hat-trick, this time against Barnsley.
He missed almost all of the 2012/3 promotion season with injury but impressed Bruce this season with his attitude and eye for goal, especially after a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday rejuvenated him. His form in the FA Cup, when he took over from the cup-tied Nikica Jelavić and Shane Long, made plenty of headlines as he stuck away four goals, including one in the semi-final at Wembley, which added to his brace of Premier League goals, made him the top scorer for the season. It remains a regret to many City fans that Bruce didn’t try him out earlier in the season instead of the palpably unimpressive Danny Graham, and the image of Fryatt stealing the ball off the untrusted Graham to score the opener at Southend remains one of the most stark of the Cup run.
An excellent professional as well as a natural goalscorer, Fryatt was in Steve Bruce’s plans for the forthcoming season as City prepare for a first ever European campaign, but to his credit, the lure of playing regularly has won him over and he becomes Stuart Pearce’s first signing as manager of Forest – a place where he scored the goal in March 2011 that ended their club record run of unbeaten games at the City Ground. It was one of many memorable goals he scored for the Tigers, and we wish him all the very best.