Nottingham Forest lost 4-0 to West Ham on Saturday but seeing Moussa Niakhate with the squad is a positive sign. The Reds enforcer was spotted wearing a club tracksuit and looking at the pitch at the London Stadium ahead of Saturday’s defeat.
It was a total capitulation from Forest. In the 70th minute, the score remained goalless but somehow Forest managed to lose the contest 4-0 and hand a relegation rival a huge win on home soil. It offered a firm reality check to Steve Cooper and his staff.
Niakhate hasn’t played since the reverse fixture against West Ham back in August. The Reds defender injured his hamstring during that fixture and his rehabilitation has proved a long process but it would seem as though a return is on the cards.
The defender born in France had signed for the Reds during the summer. He cost the club around £12 million from Mainz and last season he helped the Bundesliga outfit enjoy a really positive season.
Niakhate was expected to be a big player for the Reds during 2022/23. Although he’s only been on the pitch for 162 minutes this season, he’s showcased during that time that he is tailor-made to play in the Premier League.
Niakhate with the squad is a positive sign
With Joe Worrall looking like a completely different player outside of Nottingham, Niakhate can’t come back soon enough. The Reds need him for their push towards survival and are desperate to get him back on the pitch.
Felipe has been playing alongside Worrall of late. He looks like a quality player too but at 33-years-old, it would perhaps be unfair to rely on him playing every single game between now and May.
Niakhate provides the Reds with some leadership. Right now the team are badly lacking in that quality and are conceding far too many goals – particularly away from the City Ground.
Seeing Niakhate at West Ham on Saturday was definitely a positive sign. Now, the Reds will hope that he can get back on the pitch sooner rather than later.