In a season which has provided very few moments of excitement for Nottingham Forest, the blossoming defensive partnership of Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna has been a bright spark.
The pair haven’t been able to play alongside each other as much as they perhaps would have liked this season having both endured difficulties with injury.
But the duo have started together for the last six games and have helped Chris Hughton’s side maintain a solid defensive record, which sees them sit joint-fifth in the Championship goals conceded table.
Worrall continues to go from strength-to-strength at the City Ground having made huge strides of improvement since spending the 2018/19 season on loan with Rangers.
The defender has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the league, and as he did last summer, he is now attracting interest as the end of the season looms.
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The Sun on Sunday reported that Norwich City are interested in signing Worrall after the Canaries sealed an immediate return to the Premier League last week.
Daniel Farke’s side have enjoyed a really positive Championship campaign, and look set to go up as Champions before embarking on life back in the top-flight.
A centre-half is said to be on Farke’s radar, therefore the signing of Worrall would fit the bill. What obstacles would he face, though?
Only Watford have conceded fewer goals than Norwich this season, with Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson establishing themselves as first-choice defenders for the large part. Gibson’s move from Burnley looks set to be made permanent following the club’s promotion, with the 28-year-old impressing under Farke before being ruled out for the season in March.
Straight away, Worrall has to break into the team ahead of two defenders who have been mainstays for large parts of this campaign. Keeping the core of the squad together will be key for Farke, and those two have been at the heart of their success this term.
Whilst Worrall may also represent a longer-term option than Hanley and Gibson, Norwich also have a defender with large potential in Andrew Omobamidele. The club value Omobamidele and see a big future for the 18-year-old, so one of their big focuses will be on developing him and helping him improve.
Norwich will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself having gone straight back down last season, and fans aren’t naive to know that next season will be tough at times and certainly won’t be plain sailing.
This is something that Worrall will have to get used to, and even though a Premier League move may be seen as an ideal one initially, he needs to be wary that he could only spend a year or two there.
Whilst Forest have struggled this season, they will be looking to have a strong, promotion-chasing campaign under Chris Hughton in 2021/22.