The Lowdown: Richards’ injury
Earlier this month, it was announced that Forest had completed the signing of the 24-year-old left-back from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in a deal worth £10m.
Following his arrival at the City Ground, Richards failed to feature in the side’s pre-season campaign.
As per BBC Sport, manager Steve Cooper revealed that his new signing had suffered a leg injury that will keep him on the sidelines for an extended period.
Cooper ruled out the possibility of a broken leg, but there are fears that the defender has suffered a hairline fracture.
The Latest: Dinnery’s claim
Dinnery believes that Richards’ injury may be the result of the increased workload at his new club.
Speaking with Football Insider, the injury expert claimed:
“I’m reading between the lines in terms of the timeline.
“The stress fracture is something that can happen after a big change, an increase in volume and intensity in training. These are all risk factors, particularly with the tibia because there’s a lot of weight going through it.
“He is a young lad who hasn’t had a lot of minutes in recent seasons. He wanted to come and prove himself. When you’re coming from a club with such prestige, there is added expectation.
“In hindsight, maybe they could have done some things a little bit different. Then again, it could just be one of those things.
“It’s a nightmare for him and difficult for Forest, especially given that their squad is already stretched. It’s going to hit them hard to not have him available at least for the first several game weeks.”
Where will Forest finish this season?
The Verdict: Big loss
When looking at Richards’ underlying stats, it is clear to see how big of a loss his injury will be to Cooper’s Forest side.
As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year, the left-back ranks in the 99th percentile for pressures and tackles, and in the 98th percentile for pass completion rate, dribbles completed and progressive passes received.
With Cooper currently preparing for his team’s Premier League opener against Newcastle next Saturday, Richards’ injury will knock his plans when it comes to choosing his starting XI.
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