Nottingham Forest defender Yuri Ribeiro was the pick of some supporters for last season’s Player of the Year but now finds himself on the fringes of the first-team at the City Ground.
Some eagle-eyed fans have been pretty optimistic of a return to the fold for the Portuguese player though, especially after the club’s Twitter account photographed him in a recent training session.
The 23-year-old proved a tidy addition to the Forest squad last season. He signed for the Reds on a permanent deal from Benfica where he had been viewed as an emerging talent.
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) October 27, 2020
During his maiden season in English football he played 27 times and registered three assists, showcasing unreal energy to get himself up and down the pitch.
With that in mind it came as a surprise when he was frozen out of proceedings under Sabri Lamouchi. After playing in the EFL Cup and in the league against Cardiff he failed to make another squad.
That sparked all sorts of conspiracy theories. Had the club decided to pull the plug on the Portuguese contingent? Was Jorge Mendes demanding they don’t play? The truth is, we don’t really know.
It does seem as though, Ribeiro is being trusted to at least train with the first-team under Chris Hughton though and that could be very useful for Forest.
Nicholas Ioannou has looked pretty good during the four games he has played for the Reds but it’s fair to say Ribeiro is a better backup option than Tyler Blackett.
With Forest unbeaten in three under Hughton, he’ll be hesitant to make changes – especially to his back four. However, with the games coming thick and fast he might be powerless when it comes to making one or two.
Ioannou as good as he has been has looked a little jaded during the last couple of games, with both Derby and Rotherham getting some joy by attacking down Forest’s left.
That could open the door for Ribeiro and all he can do if a chance is forthcoming is work hard and try and impress his new boss.
The defender will be hurting that he hasn’t featured this season, with the player showing immense pride to wear the shirt and help the team during last season.
Ribeiro’s style makes him very much a Hughton-style player. All he can do is showcase the determination which adhered him to the club’s supporters, should he be given a chance.
If the youngster can do that, he could once again stamp his authority as Forest’s primary option at left-back.