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…
Full-back Jordi Osei-Tutu is in line to return in mid-December for Championship side Nottingham Forest according to Sports World Ghana, after spending much of his loan spell away from Arsenal on the sidelines thus far.
The 23-year-old arrived at the City Ground on a season-long loan deal from the Gunners back in August – and looked set to take over from last season’s loanee Cyrus Christie as Forest’s first-choice right-back.
Potential competitor Jordan Gabriel also left the club in the summer to join Blackpool on a permanent deal, but after suffering a hamstring injury in late August against Blackburn Rovers that has kept him out ever since, he has made just two appearances for the East Midlands outfit.
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To make matters worse, Djed Spence and Mohamed Drager came in during the late stages of the previous transfer window, potentially keeping the 23-year-old out in the cold when he returns to action with teenager Fin Back another option new manager Steve Cooper could utilise and Max Lowe the established first-choice option on the left.
Osei-Tutu does have the attacking ability to play at wing-back in Cooper’s system – but with the amount of competition there is in this department now – does he have a long-term future at the City Ground?
We asked three of our writers at Football League World for their verdict on this key question.
Osei-Tutu has been rather unfortunate since arriving at The City Ground, and even more unfortunate that he has not been able to give a good account of himself to new boss Steve Cooper.
Djed Spence has been trusted in the wing-back role and has put in strong performances in thus far, and it will be no surprise to see Forest test Middlesbrough’s resilience for a permanent deal.
Osei-Tutu will still have another chance to force himself into contention, and he is certainly a player with lots of talent and potential in the English game.
The fact that Forest are now operating with wing-backs might also suit the 23-year-old, because even with the limited game time he has seen so far, his attacking tendencies have been there for all to see.
Mohammed Drager is also yet to fully cement himself into the side, and he will surely continue to edge closer to the first team in Osei-Tutu’s absence.
The 23-year-old will need to fully be at it when he returns. He has the ability and potential, but will need to prove that to the new man in charge.
Everyone has a clean slate under Steve Cooper, so I would certainly say he has a future there.
He is a defender who could quite easily function as a wing-back and for that reason I think he should be given a chance.
He offers an alternative to their current options in that position and I think it’s important that Forest keep their squad depth high.
He will certainly have some catching up to do, so I would envisage that he’ll be pencilled in to do some under-23 games at some point.
It’s a fresh start for him after his injury and he should take the opportunity with both hands.
There should certainly be a way back for Jordi Osei-Tutu at Nottingham Forest and under a manager like Steve Cooper with his record developing young talents he could have a major role to play for them in the second half of the campaign.
This was a big season for the defender and he needed to ideally get a full campaign under his belt playing regularly week in week out in the Championship with the Reds.
However, Forest should still be able to get some game time out of the defender with him potentially returning in the New Year or just slightly before.
It will be a major boost for Cooper and give him another quality option to choose from. You would expect him to be able to strongly challenge for a place in the side when he gets back up to speed.