Nottingham Forest have added depth to their pool of centre-halves, but may seek to move to the shallow end over the summer.

The Reds have seen their hand forced in that department this season.

In January, Martin O’Neill inherited a squad down to the bare bones at the back.

He quickly sought to address those issues, with Yohan Benalouane acquired within a matter of hours.

The Tunisia international was then joined at the City Ground by Alexander Milosevic and Molla Wague before the winter window slammed shut.

Three new faces added to the ranks – two of them on permanent deals.

Benalouane and Milosevic are tied to 18-month contracts, with Wague merely on a short-term loan.

The terms of that agreement suggest that he will not be sticking around.


(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Especially when a lack of minutes is taken into account.

And the wealth of options Forest are set to have at their disposal this summer.

Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueiredo and Michael Hefele have spent longer than they would have liked on the treatment table this season.

They are still knocking around, though, and intent on forming part of Forest’s future.

The same could be said for Joe Worrall, who is approaching the end of a loan stint at Rangers.

That is another four names to add to the pot for 2019-20.

O’Neill has said in the Nottingham Post of his options at the heart of a back four: “We did have the set of injuries to central defenders and, if we had waited for Dawson and Figueiredo to come back, we would have been waiting for a long time.

“Tobias’ injury has taken a lot longer than we thought to recover from.

“So I am pleased to have brought a few players in, because they were very much needed.

“There will be competition for places for next season, of course. But we will see what develops over the course of the summer.”



Is that a hint towards possible departures?

It has already been suggested that there will be an imminent removal of the deadwood from the Nottingham Forest.

Centre-halves could fall into that category.

While injury issues have been a problem this season, do Forest really need six options?

And that is before O’Neill ponders whether there may be even better available in the transfer market.

Benalouane is, according to The Guardian, attracting interest from afar, and Worrall may do likewise after returning from Scotland.

Dawson, at 35 years of age, could become more of a squad player and Mague will head back to Italy.

There are, however, still plenty of questions to be answered when it comes to the makeup of Forest’s defensive unit for the opening day of next season.

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