Chris Hughton believes having Joe Lolley back to full fitness is a major asset for Nottingham Forest ahead of the forthcoming Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Lolley, who joined the Reds from Huddersfield Town in 2018, scored 21 goals across his first two full seasons on Trentside, chipping in with a number of assists and establishing himself as a key player for the club.
The 2020/21 campaign was a frustrating one for the winger, though, having made only 16 league starts in a campaign which was hampered by injury.
The 28-year-old, who scored one goal and added two assists last term, missed the final two months of the season through a hamstring injury which he has since had surgery on.
Lolley is now fit and firing in pre-season, starring in Forest’s 2-2 friendly draw with Crewe Alexandra at the weekend. The winger hit the crossbar and then played an integral role in the Reds’ opening goal, with his fierce long-range strike stinging Dave Richards’ gloves and Brennan Johnson tapping in the rebound.
Speaking to the press after Saturday’s stalemate at Gresty Road, Chris Hughton spoke of his excitement to see Lolley back in action, and spoke of how big of an asset the wide-man can be when operating at full fitness.
He said: “Joe’s ability has never been in question. He’s had some difficult periods, but it’s good to see him back.
“He had some surgery in the summer, he’s come back and he’s in good shape at the moment. It’s really good to see him out there.
“We know how big of an asset a fully-fit Joe Lolley is for us.”