This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Yohan Benalouane has made just one substitute appearance for Nottingham Forest in a campaign that has been blighted with injury.
The former Leicester City man’s future is somewhat uncertain at the City Ground, especially given the number of centre-backs ahead of him in the pecking order.
Benalouane’s contract does not run out until 2021, but should Forest look to let him go this summer or keep hold of him and utilise him next season?
The team here at Football League World offer their views….
I think we’ll see him go this summer rather than being used next year.
His contract has a year to run after this season and perhaps it’s the last time Forest can try and get some kind of a fee for him, though it’s going to be nominal at best given his age and other factors.
I don’t see them offering him a new deal given some of the options they have at the club and I don’t see him playing all that much next year, regardless of what league the Reds are in.
I’m sure in the summer they’ll be looking for better players again in the transfer market and that’ll only knock him further down the pecking order so, for me, it’s best for all involved if he is moved on in the transfer window.
I think his future depends on which division Forest are playing their football in next season.
I’m not surprised that Benalouane hasn’t featured as much as he would have originally hoped for as the performances of Joe Worrall and Tobias Figueiredo have really impressed me this season.
Benalouane is a strong option to have in Sabri Lamouchi’s squad next season if they’re in the Championship, but I have my doubts as to whether he’s good enough if they’re in the Premier League.
If the Reds are to win promotion back into the top-flight, then surely Lamouchi would look to sign better quality players to adjust to life amongst England’s elite.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they cashed in on Benalouane in the summer transfer window.
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I don’t think Benalouane has a part to play at the City Ground next season, regardless of whether they win promotion to the Premier League or remain in the Championship, but I think that he could be a useful squad player if they stay in the Championship.
I remember him playing under Martin O’Neill last season and he was quite a robust player who didn’t really have much temperament, and I can’t see him fitting into Sabri Lamouchi’s plans.
Joe Worrall and Tobias Figueiredo are much better options than Benalouane and you’d expect them to be first-choice defenders again next season, but with Michael Dawson approaching the latter stages of his playing career, they need backup should one of the pair pick up an injury.
He’ll be demanding first-team football but I just can’t see him getting it at Forest, so whether he then demands a move away remains to be seen. I’d keep onto him until a backup option is brought in, though.