Nottingham Forest youngsters Anel Ahmedhodzic and Alex Iacovitti both departed the City Ground yesterday.
19-year-old defender Ahmedhodzic’s has left to join Malmo permanently, as confirmed by the Swedish club on their official website, whilst Oldham have confirmed the signing of Alex Iacovitti on loan until the end of the season, via their official website.
Neither of them had managed to break into the first team at the City Ground this season. Therefore, it won’t come as a surprise to many that they have moved elsewhere in search of regular football.
However, Martin O’Neill is currently having to deal with a defensive injury crisis. Would it have been a wise move to give a youngster a chance instead of looking to bring another defender to the club?
In this case, O’Neill doesn’t come across as the sort of manager to favour youth over experience. This is shown by the fact he is yet to give Arvin Appiah a chance. Therefore, it is probably best for both players to have moved on elsewhere.
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Although, it’s certainly a shame that Ahmedhodzic’s move is a permanent one.
He has been highly regarded by the club over recent years and his ability to play both in defence and defensive midfield could’ve made him a useful asset. It will be interesting to see how his career develops back in Sweden.
As for Iacovitti, O’Neill will be hoping he can come back from Boundary Park with some valuable first team experience under his belt.
Ahmedhodzic praises youth set-up at Forest
Ahmedhodzic has signed a lengthy contract at Malmo which will see him remain at the club until 2022, and he believes his last few years at the City Ground have set him up well. He told his new club’s official website: “I have been educated in English football.
“It’s tough in general but Nottingham is known for having a particularly tough youth programme.
“It’s very physical and hard work. I have grown a few centimeters but gone up about 11 kilos since I came to England. It shows a little how it is.”
He came close to making a breakthrough with the Reds on numerous occasions. However, he leaves the club with only one first team appearance to his name. This came when he came on as a late substitute for Thomas Lam against Newcastle United in 2016.
Having been involved in numerous pre-season training camps, Ahmedhodzic can count himself unlucky that he didn’t get given more opportunities to make an impression.
Iacovitti set for his own play-off push
The Reds find themselves just four points off the play-off places in the Championship, but 21-year-old Iacovitti now finds himself involved in a similar challenge at a lower level. He joins League Two side Oldham with them currently sat eight points off the play-offs, with games in hand on teams around them.
He will be looking to help the Latics forge a promotion push, whilst picking up some valuable game time.
Iacovitti told the club’s official site that he is looking forward to the challenge, commenting: “I’m really excited to be here. The atmosphere around the place is a friendly one and I think I’ll enjoy my football here.
“The club aren’t that far from the play-off places, so hopefully as a team we can go on a run that gets us into the top seven.”
It’s unlikely that Ahmedhodzic and Iacovitti will be the last to leave the City Ground this month. Danny Fox is likely to be next as he edges closer to a move to Wigan, according to Nottinghamshire Live.
In the meantime, O’Neill and Roy Keane will be looking to bolster the squad with a couple of new additions.