Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton insists that Yuri Ribeiro’s recent absence from the team has nothing to do with the fact that the left-back could be off in the summer.
The 24-year-old’s deal at the City Ground expires in the summer and it’s unclear where his future lies, with reports recently claiming a return to Portugal is on the cards.
However, speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Hughton explained that Ribeiro’s failure to make the squad in recent games is simply down to competition for places as opposed to a transfer development.
“Overall, we’re delighted with Yuri and he’s been good for this football club. Apart from Gaetan Bong, I also have Tyler Blackett, who has been fit for a while and is pushing really hard. This is a player who has played a lot of games in the Championship.
“I have rotated in that position probably more than any other position. Possibly that will be the same for the rest of the season.”
It remains to be seen who is in the XI when the Reds welcome league leaders Norwich City to the City Ground tomorrow night.
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With Ribeiro’s contract up in the summer, it does seem inevitable that he will leave, so you can understand why Hughton may be planning for the future.
However, as he says, it’s also true that he has three good options for left-back, so the reality is that one is unlikely to make the squad each game.
Ultimately, looking ahead, Hughton has some big decisions to make, and it will be interesting to see if Ribeiro is going to be part of those plans.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.