Nottingham Forest outcasts Claudio Yacob and Zach Clough both featured in a behind closed doors friendly contest against Notts County on Monday.
The game took place at Forest’s training ground with the Reds defeating the Magpies 3-2.
Forest were led by Jimmy Gilligan and Chris Cohen, with the team mostly made up of young players. Yacob, Clough and Toby Edser were all on display.
The Reds won the contest thanks to goals from Max Ram, Ethan Stewart and Will Swan. The game provided the perfect warm-up for Friday’s game with Bolton Wanderers.
Both Yacob and Clough are intriguing City Ground tales.
Both are capable players at Championship level but for whatever reason have been cast firmly out of the first-team picture.
Clough has been pretty frequent in playing for the under-23 outfit this season. The 24-year-old hasn’t played for Forest since January 2018, however, and his days do look numbered at the City Ground.
It could prove challenging for the Reds to offload him, however. He has a contract until 2021 and lesser clubs may struggle to offer him the same wage which he is paid at Forest.
On paper, he isn’t actually a bad option to have around the club. An injury to Lewis Grabban would see boss Sabri Lamouchi desperately short of strikers and that could offer Clough a reprieve.
Yacob hasn’t featured since a 1-0 win over QPR in April. He was used sparingly by Martin O’Neill despite being trusted to captain the side during his first game in charge.
The 32-year-old is out of contract during the summer and it remains to be seen whether he may be offloaded in January.
With a plethora of midfield options for Lamouchi to turn to, it seems unlikely he will ever wear a Forest shirt again.
Matches like yesterday should at least allow him to keep his eye in ready for any offers he might receive during the transfer window.
Both players will go down as bizarre chapters in the history of the club. Clough and Yacob signed with decent reviews from the supporters.
Ex-Bolton man Clough arrived with a big reputation; whilst Yacob came having played 160 games in the Premier League for West Bromwich Albion.
It seems certain that wherever they end up there will be no animosity from the club’s supporters towards the forgotten duo.