·25 December 2022
·25 December 2022
Nottingham Forest have been dealt a “massive blow” after Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyaté picked up an injury at the World Cup ahead of his return to the City Ground, injury journalist Ben Dinnery has told GiveMeSport.
The 83-time international made just one appearance in Qatar as the Lions of Teranga reached the last 16 of the tournament.
Kouyaté was stretchered off in Senegal’s opening World Cup clash with Netherlands after a collision with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with the Forest man missing the remainder of the tournament.
According to NottinghamshireLive, the Premier League club are said to be “extremely frustrated” with the Senegal FA having initially misdiagnosed the player with a twisted ankle, despite the player actually having torn his hamstring.
The 270-time Premier League star has updated fans of his progress on his Instagram account, captioning his post with: “It’s never easy and it’s never over and it will be a fight renewed every morning, but it is possible!”
And Dinnery believes that Kouyaté’s absence from the side comes as a “huge disappointment” to Steve Cooper at the City Ground, ahead of their trip to Manchester United next Tuesday.
When asked if Kouyaté is a big loss for Forest, Dinnery told GiveMeSport: “If we have learned anything from that summer transfer window it’s that Steve Cooper has got a lot of depth within that squad.
“Those players need to come in and hit the ground running, to give Forest a realistic and strong chance of staying up.
“It’s a massive blow and a huge disappointment, coming off the back of his [Kouyaté’s] appearance at the World Cup when really, he should have been returning full of confidence and fighting fit. That’s a bit of a blow for Forest.”
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Kouyaté has made 13 appearances for Forest so far this season, scoring one goal across appearances in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, according to Transfermarkt.
The former Crystal Palace man is exceptional in marshalling his midfield and helping form a protective barrier in front of the defence, as shown by the fact he ranks in the top 7% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues as well as the Champions League and Europa League for clearances per 90 minutes (1.99) and the top 19% for both blocks (1.58) and aerials won (1.81) over the last 365 days, according to FBref.
With Forest currently sitting in the Premier League’s bottom three ahead of the restart, Cooper will be hoping that Kouyaté is back to full fitness not too far into the new year, as he looks to secure survival for the East Midlands giants.
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