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 manager Sabri Lamouchi will be hoping his side can maintain the form that saw them go 10 unbeaten prior to the international break.
One player who is yet to feature under Lamouchi though is defender Yohan Benalouane who has been sidelined following back surgery, having moved to the City Ground in January 2019 under previous manager Martin O’Neill.
But should Forest look to offload Benalouane in the January transfer window, especially considering their wealth of options at the heart of defence?
“Forest have a strong partnership building between Worrall and Dawson, one of the best in the league.
“However, offloading a centre-back who has spent a decent amount of the time at the club might could present a risk to their squad depth, should either of the key duo get injured or suspended.
“Benalouane had a very inconsistent first half-season with Forest, with two red cards in 14 games in the league, and hasn’t had any impact this season either.
“I believe that offloading Benalouane could be a smart decision, only on the condition that Forest have enough cover in place for Dawson and Worrall as the fixtures pile up.”
“I’m not sure they should. Some Nottingham Forest fans might say that Benalouane is a bit reckless, but he certainly isn’t afraid to get stuck in and I think you need those kind of players in your team.
“He’s a good defender and he’s got plenty of experience at this level, so he could definitely be more than useful over the course of the season, especially when injuries and suspensions start to play their part, which they surely will.
“Forest have been pretty solid at the back so far this season and I can’t see Benalouane starting that many games in the Championship ahead of Joe Worrall or Michael Dawson, but it’s definitely worth having him in the squad.
“He’ll be determined to impress Lamouchi when he returns from injury and he could yet have an important role to play for Forest this season.”
Should Nottingham Forest look to offload Yohan Benalouane in the January transfer window?
“I think this would be a wise move for Sabri Lamouchi to make yes, as Benalouane hasn’t played for Forest this term.
“The 32-year-old has been sidelined through injury so far, and I feel that he would find it hard to break into the starting eleven due to the form shown by the likes of Dawson and Worrall.
“Benalouane is also at the age where he needs to be playing regularly, so I think a move away from the City Ground would be best for all parties, with the veteran centre back unlikely to play much this season.
“It will be interesting to see if he can prove himself to Lamouchi, as this will be pivotal in deciding if the player will stay or go in either the January or Summer transfer windows which are to come.”