Nottingham Forest have been linked with a move for left-back Martin Olsson, who is available on a free transfer following his release from Swansea City.
According to Swedish outlet Expressen, the Reds are looking to bolster their defensive options by snapping up the 31-year-old.
The 47-cap international has typically been utilised as a left-back throughout his career. However, his attacking capabilities mean that he also flourishes when played as a wing-back.
At times during 2018/19, the Reds had issues to contend with in the left-back position. Jack Robinson often had to play elsewhere in the back four. This meant that Ben Osborn was often played in that position, which was far from ideal.
As it stands, Robinson is the only out-and-out left-back in Martin O’Neill’s squad. It’s therefore no surprise if he is looking to sign another one this summer. It’s a position the Reds have struggled to sort for a number of years.
With Robinson currently the only left-back on the club’s books, how could Olsson’s arrival impact on his chances next season?
The 25-year-old made 38 appearances last term, and also contributed two goals and two assists.
He was a key player under the management of Aitor Karanka, but he’s had his ups and downs since Martin O’Neill’s arrival. At one stage, he had only started two out of five games, with speculation of a rift with the Northern Irishman.
However, the Reds lined up in a 3-4-2-1 formation for the last three games of the season. This saw Robinson reinstated into the side, and he was even handed the captain’s armband.
You would think that O’Neill may be tempted to have both Robinson and Olsson in his side next season. Robinson could start the season in the same way he ended it, by playing in the centre, whilst Olsson could play as a wing-back.
Having two naturally left-footed players in the defence could be a useful asset for the Reds.
If O’Neill does opt to revert to a back four though, they could be directly competing against each other for one place in the side.