Date: 31st May 2019 at 4:45pm
Written by: Seb Franklin

Nottingham Forest are overstocked at centre-back with Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueiredo, Yohan Benalouane, Michael Hefele, Alexander Milosevic, Joe Worrall and Jack Robinson at Martin O’Neill’s disposal next season. The Reds manager has a thankless task trying to keep seven players happy so he could offload one or two players to trim the bloated squad.

Hefele may be the first in line for the axe as he struggled for form before suffering a season-ending injury. The 28-year-old joined Forest from Huddersfield Town last summer and went on to make 18 appearances before injuring his achilles against Leeds United on January 1, 2019. Hefele has been sidelined ever since the incident and could be deemed surplus to requirements.

The German defender was criticised by supporters for poor performances in 2018/19 and has too much competition for a starting place at Forest. His deal at the City Ground runs until 2021, but Hefele could be on his way out much sooner. Aitor Karanka tried to sell him in January.

He was already injured when O’Neill joined Forest so it’s hard to see him being preferred over the manager’s January signings. With seven players fighting for two spots in the starting lineup, Hefele could be one of many defenders made available for sale this summer.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article

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