Nottingham Forest star Moussa Niakhate has been called up by Senegal and that could make Steve Cooper very anxious. The Reds defender returned after seven months out injured in Friday’s defeat to Newcastle at the City Ground.
Forest signed Niakahte from Bundesliga outfit Mainz during the summer transfer window. He cost the club around £13 million and he was expected to be a real asset to Cooper’s team.
Just two games into his City Ground career, disaster struck. Niakhate was injured during a 1-0 home win over West Ham and his hamstring took around seven months to recover.
Niakhate is now back and he will be required to help Forest pull clear of the relegation zone. The Reds defender did okay against Newcastle on Friday, although he did give away the late penalty kick.
The 27-year-old pledged his allegiance to the Senegal squad whilst he was out injured. He was invited to a training camp in November and many Forest fans felt that suggested he was close to a return.
Now he is back, however, and he will link up with his international teammates. Senegal face a double-header against Mozambique and it’ll be interesting to see if Niakhate plays.
Niakhate called up by Senegal and Cooper could be anxious
The Reds performer will hope to get some minutes under his belt during this week. After making his return, the challenge now is for him to stay fit and keep helping Forest.
Cooper surely won’t be happy with this though. No sooner has he got his star defender back, he’s now potentially going to play against a nation that Senegal should probably beat easily anyway.
Forest can’t afford to lose any more central defenders. Felipe and Joe Worrall are the other two options and Niakhate is vitally important to Forest’s fortunes over the next couple of months.