Nottingham Forest released Alexander Milosevic from his contract at the City Ground yesterday after eight months at the club.

The Swedish defender was a surprise release given the quality he possesses but he had dropped to fifth choice centre-back under Sabri Lamouchi.

His departure highlights the obvious strength in depth in the defensive ranks at the City Ground. Milosevic had fallen behind Michael Dawson, Joe Worrall, Chema Rodriguez and Tobias Figueiredo.

The 27-year-old played 12 times for the Reds and it also suggests that Forest are not afraid to be ruthless when it comes to balancing the books.

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On that basis, there could be a couple of other defenders currently on the books at the City Ground who might be sweating over their futures somewhat.

Michael Hefele and Yohan Benalouane are a million miles away from the first-team. Both players are currently injured but had they been fit the duo would have still sat behind Milosevic in the pecking order.

German defender Hefele arrived from Huddersfield for £300,000 (BBC Sport) and was a peripheral figure under Aitor Karanka. He injured his Achilles on New Year’s Day and hasn’t been fit since.

Benalouane was a January recruit and although he did a job last season, he was erratic to say the very least.

Football clubs aren’t typically in the business of releasing injured players. Both Hefele and Benalouane were injured whilst playing for Forest. With that in mind, the club will certainly take care of their rehabilitation process.

Once they fit and ready to return to action, however, it probably won’t be with Forest. Hefele, 29 and Beanlouane, 32 face uncertain futures and one eye will surely be on their next step.

Misfortune

Had the duo been fit during the summer, they would probably have already departed the City Ground by now.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Hefele always looked to have an error in the locker, whilst Benalounae was sent off twice in just 14 appearances for the Reds.

One area that Forest have looked strong in this season is at the back; particularly centre-back and that also doesn’t bode well for the injured men.

Rodriguez has looked sound since coming in from Levante; whilst Joe Worrall has looked like a completely different player since spending a year on loan with Rangers.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Milosevic’s departure has saddened some people but the same won’t be said when the injured duo inevitable depart.

With the squad still a little bit bloated, the sooner Hefele and Benalouane can be moved on, the better for all parties.

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