Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton has explained that Tendayi Darikwa could depart the City Ground during the January transfer window.
In an interview ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Cardiff City, the manager told Nottinghamshire Live that his future isn’t at Forest.
Darikwa missed the whole of last season with a serious knee ligament injury and hasn’t played for many months.
The Nottingham-born player signed for £1 million from Burnley in 2017. He has made 63 appearances for the Reds, scoring one goal.
Darikwa hasn’t played for the Reds since a 2-1 win over Swansea in March 2019 when Martin O’Neill was in charge.
Now, Hughton has admitted that he doesn’t envisage a Forest future for the right-back.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “We’ve always been open with Tendayi.
“He’s a really good individual, a good trainer and a good player. But it’s a good while – even before my time – since he’s played.
“If there’s an opportunity to get games elsewhere, then I think that’s an opportunity we would accept and take.
“Having said that, he pushes himself every day in training. Although hes not been involved, I wouldn’t be too fearful of involving him.”
Can Darikwa count himself unlucky?
In fairness, he probably has.
Darikwa has had to force his way back to first-team action and the opportunity to play just hasn’t been there.
Cyrus Christie and Carl Jenkinson are ahead of him in the pecking order and Hughton clearly trusts those two.
Darikwa has proved a decent servant for the Reds and perhaps is old fashioned in the sense that he is better defensively than he is going forward.
It’s interesting that Hughton says he would have no reservations over utilising him.
Darikwa has proved himself the consummate professional but Forest won’t stand in his way when it comes to playing football.
Christie has had his fair share of critics but ultimately the statistics show he is doing a better job than some supporters think.
With Darikwa third choice, allowing him to leave does make a great deal of sense.