Former Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi has told ABC Sevilla that he tried to sign defender Joris Gnagnon in the summer of 2019.
Shortly after the French boss had replaced Martin O’Neill he was asked by the club if he wanted any particular defenders to be added to his ranks.
Lamouchi recommended the player he managed at Rennes but he chose to sign re-sign on loan for the Ligue 1 outfit instead.
The Sevilla defender is now in limbo having returned to the club at the end of last season.
He is way down the pecking order and isn’t thought to be training with the Sevilla first-team.
Lamouchi told ABC Sevilla: “They asked me for positions to be reinforced and I put Gnagnon’s name on the list.
“I want him I told my club. I spoke to him, everything was settled, but suddenly on the last day, he said no, that he’d stay with Sevilla.
“It was something that I did not understand. Honestly, I think it would have been very good if we were together again. Shortly after he would go back to Rennes.
Lamouchi was clearly a big fan of the 23-year-old enforcer and he might have proved a useful addition to the Forest ranks.
In the words of the former Reds boss he was ‘formidable’ and a ‘very clever’ defender, with ‘spectacular’ qualities.
Missed trick or blessing in disguise?
Some Forest fans typically cringe when overseas players are added to the ranks.
Supporters will never know what might have been had they landed Gnagnon during the summer of 2019.
Chema Rodriguez was signed during that transfer window and he proved a useful signing, albeit one who got homesick pretty quickly.
At 23, the powerful defender would have been at a nice age to improve, although he would have ultimately been judged on his performances.
Joe Worrall impressed Lamouchi enough during the pre-season of 2019 to earn himself a shirt in all 46 of Forest’s games last season.
Had Gnagnon been signed that might not have happened.
Ultimately, Forest will never know how useful the Frenchman might have been.
It seems clear Lamouchi was disappointed not to get his man, however.