Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton has hinted January signing Filip Krovinovic is in line to make his debut against Barnsley on Saturday, with a number of other midfielders sidelined due to injury.
Krovinovic helped West Bromwich Albion secure promotion to the Premier League last term and spent the first half of 2020/21 on loan with the Baggies but was recalled by Benfica and sent to the Reds earlier this month.
Hughton’s side are set to take on the Tykes on Saturday and, speaking to the Nottingham Post, the Forest boss confirmed that Ryan Yates, Harry Arter, and Jack Colback would all miss the game.
He also highlighted that Samba Sow was capable of dropping back into holding midfield, which would leave space for Krovinovic in the number 10 role.
On the Benfica loanee, Hughton said: “He’s settled in really well. It helps that he’s a genuinely nice lad who really wants to play and do well.
“He’s got a very good personality and is very enthusiastic as well.
“We just hope we can get out of him what he’s shown in training so far.”
The Reds boss talked up Krovinovic’s versatility and hinted he could be in line to make his debut against Barnsley.
“He has a bit of flexibility in where he can play,” said Hughton. “He has played in the wide areas as well.
“He’s a different type of player in the wide areas, but for me, he’s better suited in a central position – and in an advanced central position.
“He has played in a two in midfield, but we see him very much in that number 10 role off the front, or giving us an attacking option in a three.
“He’s got a good level of fitness, so he’s very much in contention for Saturday.”
The 25-year-old impressed during his previous spell in the Championship, scoring three times and adding four assists as he helped the Baggies secure automatic promotion last term.
Forest are battling at the other end of the table at the moment and sit two points above the bottom three as things stand.
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Hughton’s comments hint that Krovinovic is set to make his debut against the Tykes, whether that be from the start or as a substitute.
Though the Reds already have a big squad, bringing in a player that has proven he can thrive in the Championship is a good move – particularly as attacking midfield has been something of a problem position for them this term.
Barnsley’s results have been inconsistent recently but they’re a dangerous side and well-deserving of their place in the top half of the table.
Saturday is not going to be an easy ride for Hughton’s side, so a strong performance from Krovinovic could be huge.