How much weight does past credit hold at Nottingham Forest? Michael Dawson and Tobias Figueiredo are about to find out.
The battle to partner Joe Worrall appears to have been narrowed down to a two-man tussle.
Other options are available – Chema, Yohan Benalouane etc.
Dawson and Figueiredo are, however, the most logical pegs to fill a centre-half hole.
Sabri Lamouchi seems to have decided as much.
Recent selections have seen Portuguese power favoured over Spanish scheming.
Chema was a home banker for a while, with Figueiredo taking away duty, but consistency is being rewarded.
Which leaves the Reds boss facing another selection poser.
Dawson – club captain no less – has returned to fitness and come back into contention.
The role he nailed down early on in 2019-20 is now very much up for grabs.
Which is how it should be in a world where squad depth takes on ever-increasing importance.
Dawson, despite his standing at the City Ground and vast experience, should not expect to waltz back into the starting XI.
He has been around long enough to know that is not how football works.
There is, however, a strong argument for slotting a veteran performer straight into the back four.
He has turned 36 since last gracing the famous Garibaldi, but remains a talismanic presence.
Lamouchi favoured Dawson over the summer and saw that faith rewarded as two home-grown stars thrived alongside one another.
Master and apprentice contributed significantly to the construction of a potential promotion platform.
Does Dawson have enough in the bank, though, to get the nod now?
In his absence, Figueiredo has done little wrong.
The 25-year-old will feel as though a starting berth is now his to hold, rather than be snatched away from him.
There is, of course, much to be said for stability and continuity.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it etc.
Reds legend Kenny Burns has said in the Nottingham Post: “Michael Dawson is fully fit again and as a veteran, he’ll be desperate to play every game he can. He’ll have to be a bit patient I reckon though as Tobiaas Figueiredo is doing well.”
It remains to be seen whether Lamouchi shares that opinion.
We will not have to wait long for an answer, with the Forest boss in the process of piecing together plans for a trip to QPR.
That contest will be followed by a home date with Cardiff on Saturday, with a quick turnaround presenting an opportunity to rotate if required.
Dawson may well see minutes, but how many he gets and in what capacity will determine how much influence the past has over the present on Trentside.