Former Nottingham Forest star Joe Lolley has lauded Ryan Yates during an interview with The Athletic. The ex-Reds forward is currently playing for Sydney FC after departing the club in the summer.
Lolley struggled for starts during Forest’s promotion-winning season. As a result, he was told very quickly after promotion that he was free to find himself a new club for 2022/23.
The 30-year-old departed the City Ground after four years on Trentside. He made 171 appearances for the Reds, scoring 26 goals and laying on a further 27 in the way of assists.
Lolley has made a strong start to life in Australia. He’s scored five goals and claimed two assists, with supporters taking to the forward as one of their own following his strong performances.
Lolley had a strong relationship with Yates during his time at the City Ground. This past week he sat down for an interview with the UK press and he had praise for his former teammate.
He told The Athletic: “It is no surprise to see Yatesy flourish. We are so close but are polar opposites in so many ways. I have learnt things from him, particularly about life.
“I am sure there are things that I have helped him with. But we are so different, particularly in the way we look at things. It is quite a funny relationship, in that regard.
“He is brilliant. It is no surprise that he has done so well. He will just work hard at something until he gets it right. Surely, he’s now the first name on the team sheet when he is fit. He is the heartbeat of Forest.”
Lolley has lauded Yates and he deserves the praise
It’s been heartbreaking for Yates to have to miss out on the last few games through illness. Hopefully, he’s on the mend, however, and he can soon be back in the team producing the goods.
Yates has taken some time to get used to life in the Premier League. He’s taken it all in his stride though and has once again proved his critics wrong with some fine performances.
Lolley and Yates clearly have a strong friendship. The pair played together for many years and Lolley’s comment on his former teammate shows a touch of class from him.
Yates will only improve in the next few years. As a result, Forest will hope he can quickly recover from his illness and return to action as good as new.