Molla Wague, Leo Bonatini and Karim Ansarifard were all given valuable game time for Nottingham Forest’s u23s ahead of Monday’s meeting with Derby County. The out-of-favour trio started against Leeds United on Friday evening and could be in line to make the matchday squad against the Rams.
All three players were withdrawn in the second-half of the 2-2 draw – Kieran Hayes, Victor Sodeinde and Joe Coveney replaced Karim Ansarifard, Leo Bonatini and Molla Wague respectively. Bonatini got himself on the scoresheet before coming off at the Impact Arena which could boost his hopes of first-team football.
Lewis Grabban and Daryl Murphy are ahead of the loanee in the pecking order, but Bonatini might be given an opportunity from the bench if Forest are chasing a goal. Since joining on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers in January, the 24-year-old has racked up just 75 minutes of football.
Wague has fared even less since his switch to the City Ground last month. The centre-back has amassed only 20 minutes of action in the Championship and has been left out of the matchday squad in two of Forest’s last four games. He was on the bench against Preston and should be named as a substitute on Monday.
Ansarifard has made only one league appearance since mid-December – a three-minute cameo against Brentford – and barely makes the matchday squad. Bonatini’s arrival pushed the 28-year-old further down the pecking order so reserve team football might be all he can hope for at Forest.