Steve Cooper currently has several Nottingham Forest players who have become integral to the team and are difficult to leave out of the starting XI. These players have shown their importance, even in the absence of Taiwo Awoniyi due to injury. Let’s take a closer look at these key figures:
- Murillo: Despite only playing three games, the Brazilian has quickly established himself as a crucial player for the team. At just 21 years old, he is not only an exciting prospect but has already made an impact. While there may be times when Cooper decides to rest him or give him a break for development, at present, his place in the team is well-earned. His potential for growth as he acclimates to the Premier League is a promising aspect.
- Orel Mangala: Mangala has shown significant improvement over the past year and appears comfortable in his role. He has come into his own, especially in recent games. His partnership with Nicolas Dominguez and Ibrahim Sangare has been effective, and they work well together as a trio. Mangala’s performance against Luton was particularly notable, highlighting his growing influence on the team.
- Nicolas Dominguez: Dominguez made a standout debut, even in a challenging environment like the Etihad Stadium. Since then, he has continued to excel and adapt to English football. His exceptional work rate and smooth transition to the team have made him an important asset. While Ibrahim Sangare is also a valuable player, he hasn’t quite matched the impact of some of his teammates.
These players have demonstrated their worth and have become key figures in Nottingham Forest’s lineup. When Taiwo Awoniyi returns from injury, Steve Cooper will have some tough decisions to make regarding team selection, as these individuals have staked their claim to be integral parts of the squad.
A few eyebrows were raised when the 21-year-old was left out of the starting line-up against Brentford earlier this month. It is a rare occurrence. Some had argued Gibbs-White was in need of a breather as he had made a quiet start to the campaign, and he certainly appeared fired up when he came off the bench on that occasion. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers man still isn’t quite at his best, but he is always capable of making something happen. And given Forest are limited on attacking options at present, it seems unlikely he will be back among the substitutes any time soon.