Nottingham Forest had their best league finish since 2011 last season as they finished seventh in the Championship, but just a few months on from the end of that campaign their squad looks almost unrecognisable.
The Reds have brought in 13 new players and a number of stars who flourished under Sabri Lamouchi last season may now become forgotten men under Chris Hughton.
Unfortunately, one man who could be facing that very fate is the club’s 2019 Player of the Year, Joe Lolley.
Lolley, described as a “key player” by former Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi, was already out of the XI for Forest’s last game before the international break as Alex Mighten took his spot on the right-wing, and the deadline day addition of Anthony Knockaert won’t help his chances either.
Picking Mighten over Lolley for the Bristol City game was a gamble and it’s unlikely that he will be above him in the pecking order going forward, but Knockaert may well become Forest’s first choice on the right going forward.
It would take a top player to displace a man who contributed to 17 goals last season, but we know that Knockaert has the ability to be even better than Lolley.
During his last Championship season working under Chris Hughton the Frenchman was crowned Championship Player of the Year after netting 15 goals and notching eight assists, and if he rediscovers that form he will undoubtedly be the first name on the team sheet at the City Ground week-in week-out.
Lolley could go from being Forest’s star man to being a benchwarmer under Hughton, and that seems like a massive waste of talent.
Knockaert needs to get firing again after an underwhelming season with Fulham that saw him score just three times, but Hughton knows how to get the best out of him, and if he hits those heights again, Lolley may find his minutes incredibly limited going forward.