Amid a shortage of options at centre-half, should Nottingham Forest be looking to bring Joe Worrall back to the club?

The 22-year-old departed the City Ground back on deadline day of the 2018 summer transfer window.

An agreement with Rangers was supposed to be a season-long deal, but could that now be cut short?

The Nottingham Post are among those to have suggested that Martin O’Neill wants Worrall at his disposal.

Would returning a home-grown talent to his roots be the best option though for all concerned?


(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Well, there’s a fairly obvious one.

Forest have no fit centre-halves!

The Reds would prefer to be fielding Jack Robinson at left-back and Claudio Yacob in the middle of the park, but at present their services are required elsewhere.

Danny Fox is now suspended while Michael Dawson, Michael Hefele and Tobias Figueiredo are all nursing knocks.

If Worrall were to return, then he would expect to see game time.

O’Neill will also want to have a look at all of those at his disposal.

Having just inherited the reins, and with plans to put in place for this season and beyond, the Reds legend needs to know what he is working with.

Worrall could also benefit from coming back in alongside some experienced heads.

The presence of Dawson in particular should aid the development of a defender many still hold in high regard.

Even Fox – although it remains to be seen if he will be sticking around – has important lessons to pass on.

Forest are down to the bare bones and it really depends on whether O’Neill thinks Worrall is needed.


(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There is no break clause in Worrall’s loan deal at Ibrox.

If he were to be brought back to Nottingham then, as reported by the Daily Record, a compensation fee would have to be paid.

There is something very Forest about having to pay for a player we already own!

And when he left in the first place, the intention was that he would not be returning until this summer.

Worrall has expressed a desire to remain in Scotland and see things through.

He said in the Scottish Sun recently: “I am enjoying it and the lads and the manager are great. I can only get better as a player from being here.

“Rangers are more than a club. We have Steven Gerrard as the manager and he has brought in players who can really bring out the best of what a Rangers team should be.”

There is the chance for him to potentially taste title success in Glasgow this season – should that be denied him?

He is also working under a manager who should be able to pass on pearls of wisdom.

The same can be said for O’Neill, and potentially Roy Keane alongside him, but does the issue need to be forced?

And what happens if Worrall returns and everybody recovers full fitness? Does he start ahead of Dawson or Figueiredo?


Worrall is still highly rated by many at the City Ground and will be welcomed back.

Whether such a move needs to be made now is a different matter.

Forest may find themselves short at present, but that may not be the case in a matter of days/weeks.

The intention last summer was for Worrall to go and spread his wings and work on his game.

Would it not be best to let him do that?

O’Neill knows all about life under an Old Firm spotlight and will be aware of the obvious benefits such a challenge brings.

Worrall is tied to a long-term contract through to 2022 so can still be part of Forest’s future.

He does not necessarily need to be part of the present.

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