Left-back questions are nothing new for Nottingham Forest, and the return of Yuri Ribeiro from injury cannot come soon enough.

The Reds have sought plenty of solutions to a long-standing problem down the years.

Many have offered promise, but few have truly convinced.

Jack Robinson appeared to be the answer when arriving from QPR as a free agent.

The 26-year-old is, however, among those to have suffered a dip over recent weeks.

To the point that he was dropped back to the bench for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield.

Robinson saw no minutes at the John Smith’s Stadium.

In his place, Chema Rodriguez stepped into a full-back berth.

The Spaniard, who has seen his future at the City Ground called into question, has figured as a centre-half for the Reds in previous outings.

Sabri Lamouchi had stated that he could be an option on the left.


Said experiment was undertaken in West Yorkshire.

It delivered no points, with the December malaise continuing for Forest.

Chema cannot be considered at fault for a reversal against Huddersfield, but neither did he contribute significantly towards a more positive outcome.

Which leaves us in a familiar position.

Who should be first-choice at left-back?

Ribeiro would appear to be the most logical fit, with the Portuguese having offered plenty of encouragement on the back of a summer arrival.

He is a little rough around the edges, but is not going to be the finished product at 22 years of age.

It is his enthusiasm and willingness to drive up and down the flank which makes him an appealing proposition.

One with plenty of potential to unlock as he gains more experience in England.

The rather glaring problem at the moment is that Ribeiro isn’t fit!

He has been out of action since a meeting with Derby on November 9.


There have been regular statements of “back soon” since then.

Another was delivered on Saturday when paying homage to Forest’s fantastic away support.

When, though, is ‘soon’?

Forest will be back in action at Hull City on Boxing Day, with contests against Wigan and Blackburn carrying us into the New Year.

Will Ribeiro see game time in those fixtures?

If so, how much?

In an ideal world, he will be ready to step back in before 2020.

Defensive leaks have sprung again and the pack is being shuffled in a bid to try and find a solution.

Ribeiro can play a leading role in that quest, with his presence offering assurance on the left.

There have been claims of an imminent return for over a month now, with the hope being that said promise will be delivered on sooner rather than later.

Related Topics