Nottingham Forest will apparently go in search of a permanent central defensive signing during January – but Ryan Yates could save the club a fortune.
When the Forest team was submitted on Saturday, it showed a bold selection by boss Steve Cooper.
The team displayed James Garner and Jack Colback in the midfield engine room, with Yates included but as a central defender.
Some thought it must have been a misprint; others might have felt Steve Cooper had lost his mind! Quickly though, any worries were eased as the 22-year-old performed impeccably well.
With Tobias Figueiredo ill and Loic Mbe Soh still injured, it left the Reds boss with a quandary.
He clearly wanted to adopt the 3-4-3 system that has served Forest so well on the road but found himself light at the back.
In Yates, Cooper has a player who would do anything for the club. The head coach alluded to that following a recent game in which he was brilliant.
On Saturday, that notion was put to the test, with the academy graduate tasked with the role of playing as a makeshift centre-back.
He didn’t disappoint and now Cooper has some serious thinking to do.
Yates could save Forest millions
The January window is notoriously difficult to shop in. Images of Adama Diakhaby, Nuno Da Costa and Gaetan Bong will leave Forest fans in cold sweats from the fateful 2020 mid-season window.
Cooper and Dane Murphy will leave no stone unturned in their quest to sign the very best players for the football club.
Their hands could be tied though. Clubs won’t want to lose their players in January and that could leave Forest to miss out on their central defensive targets.
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In the short-term perhaps Cooper could call upon Yates to do a job for Forest at centre-back.
Figueiredo will be here until the end of the season at the least and perhaps the need for another defender isn’t urgent.
Yates has shown that he is capable of playing at centre-back. As a result, the Reds might be better off waiting until the summer to add another defender to the ranks.