Pre-season is well under way. Whilst Scottish teams have been back for a couple of weeks now, teams in England are now returning for their pre-season schedules. The future of Nottingham Forest winger and ex-Motherwell loanee Gboly Ariyibi is still unclear.
Ariyibi is still with Forest, but there’s more chance of aliens landing on earth this season than the winger playing for them this term.
Where does this leave the winger then, as the competitive season approaches?
Motherwell are interested but deal looks unlikely
Motherwell Chief Executive Alan Burrows confirmed Fir Park interest in their former winger. He posted on Twitter that the club would ‘love’ to bring him back and were in ‘constant contact’ with Forest over a deal for Ariyibi.
Well boss Stephen Robinson recently told NTOF though that the Well had missed out on three wingers they though they had ‘over the line’.
Is Ariyibi one of them? Given Robinson now has wide options in Devante Cole, Liam Polworth, Jermaine Hylton and Jamie Semple, Ariyibi may be one of those wingers.
The City Ground outfit recently had a management change. They sacked former Celtic boss Martin O’Neil and replaced him 18 minutes later with Sabri Lamouchi.
Will this prompt a change in fortunes for Ariyibi in Nottingham? Probably not. He hasn’t featured in any of Forest’s pre-season games so far and doesn’t appear to be on their warm weather training camp in Spain, although there hasn’t been any official confirmation to say that is the case.
So where does all of this leave him? In no man’s land really. Motherwell are the only team with registered interest and Forest clearly don’t want him. No Championship appearances in two years proves that.
He’s an asset for most teams at Premiership level. With his pace and trickery, he’s a nightmare to deal with at times. He just needs to work on his end product.
For now though, it’s very unclear where Ariyibi’s future lies.