From opening the scoring in an East Midlands Derby to not getting a game for Rochdale, what has happened to Zach Clough? 

After spending the first half of the season on loan in League One, the 23-year-old looks set to leave permanently this month.

The Nottingham Post have reported that his future at the City Ground is in ‘severe doubt’.

The Reds will be looking to find Clough a new club, with a number of other players’ futures also in doubt.

Clough oozed quality in early days

Clough made an impressive start at the City Ground following his £2.5 million move from Bolton.

He scored five goals in his first eight appearances for the Reds. Opening the scoring against Derby County was undoubtedly the highlight.

As a result of these goals, he instantly won himself more time to prove himself on Trentside.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Mark Warburton was keen on building a team of young, talented players, a bracket Clough clearly fell into.

 

However, his career has without doubt taken a huge downturn since Aitor Karanka’s arrival.

Karanka simply didn’t fancy Clough, shown by the fact he only made three appearances for the Spaniard before being sent on loan.

A crisis of confidence

In these circumstances, a loan move back to former club Bolton seemed perfect for Clough.

It turned out to be far from the perfect return.

(Photo by Stephen White – CameraSport via Getty Images)

He made nine appearances for the Trotters, scoring just once.

In short, it was not a surprise that Bolton had no interest in re-signing their former star in the summer.

Clough had the opportunity to make amends when he joined Rochdale on a short-term loan this summer. However, he only appears to have reached a new low in his once-promising career. He only made nine appearances for the Dale, with only five of these coming in League One.

It now remains to be seen whether Clough has to drop further down the Football League ladder in order to get his career back on track.