Michael Hefele was a risky signing by Nottingham Forest last summer due to his history of injury problems, and there may be some regret from the Reds due to the 28-year-old struggling for consistency and fitness in his debut season at the City Ground.
Hefele spent three months out in 2017/18 with an achilles tendon injury and saw his season ended early in March after picking up a knee injury, finishing the campaign with only six appearances to his name – less than 400 minutes of playing time. His debut campaign at Forest has seen history repeat itself.
The German defender made 15 league appearances before suffering a season-ending achilles injury against Leeds United on New Year’s Day. Martin O’Neill played down the likelihood of Hefele returning before the campaign comes to a close, and there’s a chance he won’t play for Forest again due to his inconsistency and the added competition for places.
John Percy of the Telegraph revealed that Aitor Karanka tried to sell Hefele before resigning in January, just months after he’d initially signed the centre-back. With Tobias Figueiredo, Alexander Milosevic and Yohan Benalouane for competition, Hefele will find himself low down the pecking order.
He was often slaughtered by supporters for his performances and now has a reputation for being injury-prone. If he won’t improve the squad and can’t be trusted to stay fit, why would Forest keep him?
The Midlands club are likely to wait until he’s fully recovered from injury and back from any summer holiday before deciding his future – pre-season starts in July. It would be a surprise if Hefele added to his 18 appearances in a City shirt.