Why Nottingham Forest should cash in on Hefele, Clough and Yacob
According to The Mirror (4 December, Page 49), Nottingham Forest could part ways with the out-of-favour trio of Zach Clough, Michael Hefele and Claudio Yacob in January, with neither of the players kicking a ball for the Reds in the Championship this season.
Nearing the halfway mark in the season, the two-time European Champions are currently placed 5th in the standings.
As per the report from The Mirror, club-owner Evangelos Marinakis is expected to sanction a few arrivals during the mid-season trading period to allow manager Sabri Lamouchi to bolster his ranks heading into the second half of the campaign.
However, the likes of Hefele, Clough and Yacob are expected to make way for new arrivals.
The Reds must raise some valuable funds in a bid to facilitate reinvestment and improve several areas of their squad and the out-of-favour trio should be sacrificed for that purpose.
All the three aforementioned players have been frozen out of the first-team picture by Lamouchi and if the recent transfer development is anything to go by, it might be fair to say that they have played their last game for the Reds.
Hefele, who came through the door at the City Ground from Huddersfield Town back in the summer of 2018, made 18 appearances for the Reds in all competitions last season. He currently finds himself way down the pecking order under Lamouchi.
Veteran Michael Dawson has been joined by academy graduate Joe Worral, who returned from his loan spell at Rangers earlier in the summer, with the duo playing a key role in Forest’s surge up the standings.
With summer recruit Chema Rodriguez and Tobias Figueiredo proving themselves as able back-ups for the regular centre-back pairing of Dawson and Worrall, Michael Hefele and Alexander Milosevic have been forced to gather dust at the City Ground this term.
Claudio Yacob, on the other hand, has also found himself out of the picture this season after playing a substantial role for the Reds the last term, following his move from West Brom in the summer of 2018.
With Ben Watson and Tiago Silva establishing themselves as mainstays in the middle of the park under Lanmouchi and the likes of Alfa Semedo, Ryan Yates and Samba Sow also in the mix for a role in the midfield, the 32-year-old Argentine has cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines.
Zach Clough, a £2.5 million recruit from Bolton Wanderers back in January 2017, has never really shown signs of living up to his hefty price tag at the City Ground.
The attacking midfielder, who found himself farmed out on loan to his former club during the 2017-18 campaign and spent time on loan at Rochdale in League One last season, has failed to force his way into Lamouchi’s plans.
To put things into perspective, Nottingham Forest’s decision to get rid of their out-of-favour trio in January certainly makes perfect sense.
Lamouchi brought in more than 10 players in the summer to add to a squad that already looked quite massive on paper and it is high time for the Reds now to balance the books.
Hefele and Clough are contracted to the City Ground until the summer of 2021 while Yacob will be out of contract in 2020. Given that it has been pretty clear from Lamouchi’s team selection that neither of them is in his plans moving forward, cashing in on them could be the right course of action.
A new centre-forward continues to be a top priority for Forest in January, as evident from their links with Newcastle United hitman Dwight Gayle (h/t The Telegraph).
Offloading the three aforementioned players would free up some significant space, as well as some valuable funds, required to sanction a big-money move for the striker.
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With that in mind, parting ways with Michael Hefele, Zach Clough and Claudio Yacob cwuld work wonders for the fallen giants of English football, as they look to push on for promotion to the Premier League.