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Opinion: Nottingham Forest’s potential £16m deal ruins Leeds’ hopes for 23-year-old

Some in this part of the world refer to it as Nottingham Forest’s left-back curse. Between relegation from the Premier League in 1999 and the…

The post Opinion: Nottingham Forest’s potential £16m deal ruins Leeds’ hopes for 23-year-old appeared first on HITC.

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Some in this part of the world refer to it as Nottingham Forest’s left-back curse. Between relegation from the Premier League in 1999 and the summer of 2015, it was estimated that up to 30 different players had filled in on the left-hand side at the City Ground. Often to rather middling effect. 

Even last season, as Steve Cooper’s superb management propelled this grand old club back into the big time, Jack Colback spent most the campaign on the flank due to Max Lowe’s injury-enforced absence. So when the news came through that new £8.5 million signing Omar Richards was facing a potentially lengthy lay-off due to a suspected hairline fracture, the reaction would have been one less of shock and more of resigned acceptance. 

The left-back curse strikes again.

“Omar has picked up an injury,” Cooper told The Athletic following Forest’s 3-1, Lyle Taylor-inspired victory over Hertha Berlin on Wednesday. “We are still getting to the bottom of it. But it is unfortunate what has happened. 

“It is not going to be a few days. But it is not going to be months and months and months. 

“I guess the short-term feeling of it is one of disappointment, because we got him here, he was excited, he trained really well and he has had this set-back.” 

Omar Richards blow for Nottingham Forest

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Will Richards’ spell on the sidelines see Nottingham Forest step up their pursuit of Alex Moreno? The Athletic reported earlier in the week that talks with the £16 million-rated Real Betis flyer were underway. What’s more, Forest’s interest is seemingly not affected by the arrival of Harry Toffolo from Huddersfield Town. 

Betis are not going to let Moreno – statistically the most productive left-back in La Liga – go without a fight. But with 90Min claiming that Genk’s Gerardo Arteaga has been identified as a replacement, Manuel Pellegrini’s side certainly seem to preparing for life without the former Espanyol ace. They will sell for the right fee.

And this is where Leeds United come in. 

According to Marca, Jesse Marsch’s Yorkshire giants are also admirers of Mexico international Arteaga.

And Leeds, like Forest, have suffered an early blow to their pre-season preparations. Their own first-choice left-back – Junior Firpo – could miss the opening seven Premier League fixtures due to a hip problem.

But with Nottingham Forest targeting Moreno – and with Betis targeting Arteaga – Richards’ most ill-timed of injuries could spark a chain of events that makes Leeds’ pursuit of a Firpo replacement that little bit more difficult. 

Photo by JOHAN EYCKENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images
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