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…
Nottingham Forest have been hit with a frustrating injury update, with news emerging that Luke Freeman isn’t set to return to action until the New Year.
Freeman has been sidelined for Forest’s last six matches, and is set to undergo a hernia operation over in Germany, which means he’ll be unavailable for selection for 3-4 weeks.
The midfielder has made ten appearances in all competitions this term for Nottingham Forest, after signing on loan from Premier League side Sheffield United.
A lack of strength in depth has seen Chris Hughton’s side struggle in the Championship this season, with the Reds only having three wins to their name, from their opening 18 matches of this year’s campaign.
That dismal run of form means that Nottingham Forest are currently sat 21st in the second-tier standings this term, and they’ll be hoping they can pick up much-needed points over the hectic festive schedule.
But how big of a blow is losing Freeman for another month for the Reds?
It’s far from ideal, but in truth, Freeman has not set the world alight since his switch to the City Ground.
We know how good he can be in the second tier, with his stint at QPR in the Championship very impressive but himself, much like many of the new arrivals at Nottingham Forest have struggled to hit the ground running.
Obviously, Hughton would ideally like to have him available and at their disposal, but his loss is something that the Reds can cope with, especially with him being in and out of the side over the last few months.
There’s no doubting it’s a big blow for Forest as Freeman is a player who can really unlock the door in the final third and he will be sorely missed.
He just gives the Reds that extra guile and creativity through the centre and without him I think their results could suffer even more.
The onus will now be on other players such as Sammy Ameobi to step up to the plate for Forest, otherwise there isn’t much chance of them addressing their current slide over the festive period.
They’re not scoring enough goals as it is and with Freeman out this fact could be felt even more by the team overall.
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It’s obviously not nice.
We’ve not seen Freeman for a couple of weeks anyway so Forest are already used to not having him about, so in that sense they’ll feel as though plans are already in place to cope.
However, you’d want as many players around as possible for the festive period and so in that sense it is a blow.
Freeman has the one goal this season for Forest and would have wanted to help start turning things around but it looks as though he’ll have to wait for the opportunity.