Nicholas Ioannou’s arrival at Nottingham Forest brought excitement and expectation, but his time on Trentside hasn’t gone to plan as of yet.
The 25-year-old left Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia in September, joining Forest and bringing an end to his six-year spell in Cyprus.
The left-back would compete with Yuri Ribeiro and Gaetan Bong for a place at left-back, and after biding his time, he made his debut in a 2-1 home defeat to Bristol City in October – Sabri Lamouchi’s final game in charge.
A change in management didn’t affect things for Ioannou initially, featuring in Chris Hughton’s first four games at the helm, before being shown a straight red card in a 1-1 away draw at Luton Town.
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Since that night in Bedfordshire, Ioannou hasn’t featured for Forest. Ribeiro took his chance when he was called up to the first-team, and Bong has also played a fair amount of games under Hughton.
Ioannou was loaned out to Aris Thessaloniki in January with a view to him getting more minutes under his belt for the remainder of the season. So, how is he getting on?
Well, the full-back was a regular starter at first. After a brief substitute cameo against AEK Athens, he went on to make four successive league starts for Aris, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 away win over Apollon Smyrnis.
But he has been an unused substitute in five of Aris’ last six league games, and failed to make the matchday squad against Panetolikos last month.
Ioannou will be keen to make one final impression between now and the end of the season, as he fights for not only a place in the Aris side, but for his future in Nottingham.
Yuri Ribeiro is out of contract at the end of the season, whilst Bong is getting older. There is a real scope for a left-back to hit the ground running under Hughton, but whether that is Ioannou remains to be seen.