New Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill is reportedly on the verge of making Leicester City defender Yohan Benalouane his first signing, and he should looking to make Blackburn Rovers centre-back Darragh Lenihan his second Reds addition.
It seems clear that the centre-back position is a particular weakness for the Championship play-off hopefuls right now, given he only really has Danny Fox, Michael Hefele, Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueiredo and potentially Benalouane as his specialist options with Joe Worrall out on loan at Rangers.
There is a strong case to suggest that none of the former quartet have excelled or are good enough to be regular starters for Forest, and with Fox and Dawson in particular getting no younger a new face at the heart of the backline looks to be much needed if Forest are to stay in the promotion race.
O’Neill will certainly be hoping that he is given significant funds if he feels he needs new bodies this month, and he might need them to bring Lenihan to The City Ground from league rivals Rovers.
Well, O’Neill already knows him well given he handed the defender his Republic of Ireland debut in the 2-1 win over the USA in June of last year, and that means he knows the qualities that he has.
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He has proved time and time again for Blackburn in the Championship that he is a reliable and consistent performer that is committed and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line for his team.
He is aggressive and he showed signs that he could also make the step up to the Premier League with his performances for Rovers against Newcastle in the FA Cup this month.
In the replay against the Magpies at Ewood Park on Tuesday night not only did he find the net, but he did a good job at the other end as well by winning five aerial duels, as well as making three tackles, five interceptions and three clearances, as per WhoScored.