Nottingham Forest oversaw their first departure of the January transfer window on Tuesday night, with Rafa Mir returning to parent club Wolves after a disappointing loan spell at the City Ground.
The Spanish forward failed to find the back of the net in a total of 13 appearances for Forest, and he will now be looking to reignite his career back in Spain for SD Huesca.
Mir’s departure may now allow Sabri Lamouchi to bolster his squad and make his first addition of the window, with a new striker now expected to be on his radar in order to provide cover for Lewis Grabban.
The central defender only arrived at Forest in the summer, signing on a two-year deal from La Liga side Levante, and has been given his chance to impress Lamouchi on more than one occasion.
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But after spending only five months on Trentside, the 27-year-old is now reportedly closing in on a surprise January exit, which has left plenty of supporters confused and somewhat angry.
Here, we take a look at how Chema’s time at the City Ground has gone so far, and whether it is the right decision to let him leave already…
This season, Chema has made 10 appearances for Forest – eight of those have come in the Championship, with another two coming in cup competitions.
The left-sided centre-half had to be patient at the start of the season due to the impressive form of Joe Worrall and Michael Dawson, but he was soon given his chance once the latter picked up an injury in September.
A powerful, dominant player in the air, Chema has been impressive in defence this season. The Spaniard has won 38 aerial duels and made 27 clearances for the Reds, so he has clearly used his size to full effect.
Chema made his first league start for Forest in a 1-0 win over Brentford, where he coped really well with the likes of Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma – this season, he has been there to snuff out the danger and make a total of 47 interceptions.
But Chema has also been impressive with the ball at his feet this term – the defender has accrued a pass success rate of 74.2% this term, perhaps helped by when he played as a left-back against Wigan, Blackburn and Reading.
The Spaniard did a sound job on the left side of defence, completing 75% of his dribbles successfully, but not getting too involved with attacks.
His departure would come as a massive surprise to all concerned with the club, but it would also allow the likes of Yohan Benalouane and Michael Hefele to step up and take their chance if it comes their way.