Nottingham Forest manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, has revealed that Nigerian international Taiwo Awoniyi may make his long-awaited return to action in a crucial English Premier League clash against Arsenal today.
Espirito Santo confirmed in a press conference ahead of the game that Awoniyi, along with Anthony Elanga and Felipe, have returned to training and are included in the squad, despite not being at 100% fitness.
Awoniyi had suffered a groin injury during an international fixture between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in Portugal back in October, leading to a surgery that kept him out of action for over three months. Former Forest manager, Steve Cooper, had announced in November that the striker would be sidelined for an extended period, ruling him out of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
In a bid to be fit for the second half of the season, Awoniyi initiated his recovery process in December. Now, after months of rehabilitation, the Nigerian striker is on the verge of making a comeback and could potentially feature against Arsenal.
“The players that were out have joined the group, even though they are not 100 per cent. We have decided to have them around, in the cases of Taiwo, Anthony, and Felipe,” stated Espirito Santo in the press conference.
“We decided as a group to bring them to the squad, even though they are not really yet. We will have to decide; they are going to be with us, and then we will decide. Awoniyi is in the process of recovering and getting the fitness levels right. It was our decision to bring them to the group. Instead of waiting for them to be 100 per cent ready, we decided to bring them in, and after that, we will decide.”
Awoniyi had an impressive start to the season for Nottingham Forest, contributing four goals and two assists in his first ten Premier League appearances. His potential return adds anticipation to the clash against Arsenal, as Nottingham Forest aims to secure a positive result in the ongoing Premier League campaign.