Sabri Lamouchi will have a number of big decisions to make on Nottingham Forest players’ futures at the end of the season.
The Reds currently find themselves in the midst of a promotion battle in the Sky Bet Championship, and sit five points clear of seventh place ahead of the final nine league games of the season.
Whilst promotion to the Premier League is a possibility for the Reds, Lamouchi will need to plan for next season regardless of whichever division they find themselves playing in in 2020/21.
The likes of Michael Dawson and Ben Watson both bring real experience and knowledge to the dressing room, but whether their contracts are allowed to run out in the summer remains to be seen.
Elsewhere, the likes of Michael Hefele, Yohan Benalouane and Zach Clough face uncertain futures at the City Ground, and have struggled to make any sort of impact under the French boss.
But whilst the likes of Hefele and Clough have been left to rot on the sidelines, there are players, such as Liam Bridcutt, who are making a name for themselves away from the East Midlands club.
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Not too far away from the City Ground, Bridcutt is impressing out on loan at Lincoln City, after spending the first-half of the campaign at struggling Bolton Wanderers.
It is unlikely that Bridcutt will feature under Lamouchi next season, especially if they reach the top-flight, with the likes of Tiago Silva, Samba Sow, Alfa Semedo and Ryan Yates above him in the pecking order.
But there can be no denying that the midfielder is doing what is asked of him, and here, we take a detailed look at his spell at Sincil Bank so far…
Bridcutt has made only five League One appearances for Lincoln since joining at the end of January, already scoring his first goal for the Imps in a 1-1 home draw with Milton Keynes Dons.
But the midfielder isn’t there to score goals, no matter how helpful they might prove to be in the future. His job, like it has been for the majority of his career, is to sit deep in midfield and control the tempo of the game.
Alongside a more energetic and mobile midfielder in Bristol City loanee Joe Morrell, Bridcutt’s main role is to break up play and spread the ball out to the dangermen out wide.
The experienced midfielder has produced a series of committed performances since joining Michael Appleton’s side, making just over three tackles a game and winning 1.6 aerial duels per game on average.
The latter shouldn’t be focused on too much, given that he is under six-foot and his best work comes on the floor, having played in the top-flight for most of his career.
With the ball at his feet, Bridcutt has helped to keep things tick in the middle of the park, and he’s often at the heart of the build-up play.
The 30-year-old has made nearly 50 passes a game on average, accruing a pass accuracy rate of 67.3%. This rate is slightly lower than most fans would probably expect, but he’s only played five times thus far and tends to play slightly riskier passes.
After falling out of favour under Aitor Karanka and Martin O’Neill in previous seasons, this year was always going to be about playing regularly and getting game time.
He has got that, whilst also standing out for both Bolton and Lincoln, and he can look forward to a positive 2020/21 at this rate.
Whether that’s at Forest or not remains to be seen, but he has certainly done what’s been asked of him this term.