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 defender Loic Mbe Soh is expected to return to fitness soon but may struggle to force his way into Steve Cooper’s side.
Joe Worrall, Scott McKenna, and Tobias Figueiredo have impressed under the Welshman, so the 20-year-old may find opportunities hard to come by.
But should the Reds look to loan him out in January?
We quizzed our FLW writers…
It would have to be a case of one in one out. At the moment, Forest do not have the depth, particularly when playing a back three system, to cope with letting Mbe Soh leave in January.
They currently have five at the club and Rodrigo Ely is extremely unproven as one of them. It is important for Mbe Soh’s development to be getting some game time but with Steve Cooper’s record of improving I would not even be worrying about that too much.
The likelihood is that one of Joe Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo and Scott McKenna will miss some action and provide an opportunity for the young Frenchman.
Mbe Soh looks a good prospect despite his limited opportunities in a Forest shirt and therefore should be given responsibility in the backline if one of the current trio becomes unavailable. If Forest bring in a new defender, like John Souttar, then the situation changes.
I’d certainly consider it as it could do him the world of good getting some first-team minutes under his belt.
The 20-year-old is clearly not in the first-team picture right now under Steve Cooper at Forest, with Worrall, McKenna and Figueiredo the three that have been utilised consistently during his tenure.
However, if one of the aforementioned trio got injured, a spot would be vacated and it would be an ideal opportunity for Mbe Soh to fill in and prove his worth to Forest.
The club do have Rodrigo Ely but he as of yet is unproven at this level so it’d be a surprise to see him get in the XI over Mbe Soh.
Have Nottingham Forest ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
A January loan move away from Forest for Mbe Soh could make sense for all parties.
Right now, the young centre back is not getting anywhere near the sort of game time you imagine he would want at The City Ground, which is unlikely to aid his development.
But with plenty of time remaining on his contract with Steve Cooper’s side, they are under no pressure to sell him any time soon, so a temporary move away could prove beneficial here.
That way, Mbe Soh can get the game time he needs to improve his ability, before returning to Forest in the summer, potentially better prepared to make an impact for the club.
It is however, worth noting that Forest will have to be careful not to leave them short on options at centre back by loaning out Mbe Soh, should interest emerge in someone such as Joe Worrall again in January.