Nottingham Forest face Aston Villa tonight and perhaps Moussa Niakhate could be ready to make a welcome return to action.

The Reds defender signed from Mainz in the summer but was cruelly injured in the second match of the season.

He’s not featured since, although his rehabilitation had been thought to be progressing nicely.

Now, some training images appear to have shown him in action and that certainly bodes well.

Niakhate looked to have adapted to the Premier League quickly and played brilliantly against Newcastle and West Ham.

Niakhate ready to return
(Photo; Simon Stacpoole; Offside; Offside; Getty Images)

In his absence, the Reds have failed to keep a clean sheet and that must start to change in the future.

The Reds need to sharpen up at the back and having Niakhate back available would seriously help Steve Cooper.

Forest paid around £12 million for the central defender following his eye-catching season with Mainz.

The 27-year-old was keen on a move to the City Ground and he looks like an important piece of business.

Niakhate appears to have a bit of pace and that looks in short supply among the other defensive options.

He also reads the game exceptionally well and defends his box like an absolute warrior of a defender.

Niakhate could be ready to make a return

The 26-year-old would be a welcome return to the starting line-up against Aston Villa.

Forest need an injection of quality at the heart of their defensive unit and the Senegal international could provide that.

Niakhate looks like a very capable signing and he could star in the next few years for the Reds.

Niakhate could be ready
(Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images)

Forest will be short on confidence right now, following five straight defeats in the Premier League.

Niakhate would be a very useful leadership figure to have on the pitch.

He was the captain at Mainz for the best part of 18 months and those qualities will be welcomed in a young dressing room.

Following the latest training pics, it will be interesting to see whether or not Niakhate makes it.

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