If Sam Byram fancies another spell at Nottingham Forest then he will be most welcome, but maybe the Reds don’t need to bolster their ranks at right-back.

The general consensus is that they do.

And arguing against that is not easy.

As things stand, Tendayi Darikwa is the only senior option in that area of the field.

To be fair to the 27-year-old Nottingham native, that is not a situation which inspires confidence.

He is, however, an experienced head and is capable of more than he has shown across two seasons on Trentside.

His understudy at the moment is 18-year-old Jayden Richardson.

Another highly-rated academy graduate being tipped for a bright future.

And one that has been included in the Forest squad for a pre-season jaunt to Greece.

He has an opportunity to catch the eye of Sabri Lamouchi.

Flourish

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

But what if the new Reds boss is not looking for a standard right-back?

Could the plan be to go with three centre-halves and wing-backs?

If so, then the Reds are not as short on options as it first appears.

Darikwa could play that role, while the exuberance of youth could allow Richardson to flourish if given his big break.

Matty Cash will also come into the mix.

In many ways, he could be considered the best fit for the role.

Boundless energy allows him to get up and down the flanks, while he has spent enough time as a winger to know what is expected in the final third.

His end product has not always been the best, but a position that combines defensive and offensive duties would see less pressure placed on him in that department.

He would need to provide width, but added creativity would be demanded from others.

System

 

It is, though, unlikely that Forest will find one system and stick with it throughout 2019-20.

A four-man defence is to be expected at some stage.

And when that situation arises, do they have the right options?

Byram, who continues to be mooted as a target, would be an obvious fit – both in a full-back and wing-back role.

The 25-year-old, if he can stay fit, would be a shrewd addition to the squad.

There has also been talk in the Nottingham Post of a move for Mehdi Zeffane – a player Lamouchi knows well from his time at Rennes.

The Reds are not the only ones in the picture there, though, and an Algeria international colleague of Adlene Guedioura may prove out of reach.

Which rather leaves Forest in the position of Byram or nothing.

There is, of course, plenty of time to identify alternative targets, but this could be a case of ‘better the devil you know’.

Byram knows all about life at the City Ground and would slot straight back in, but now could be the time to open a door for Richardson – at least to get a few minutes under his belt – or change tack.