In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
When signed by Nottingham Forest in the summer, Brice Samba was an unknown quantity, but he has since gone on to be an astute signing for the Reds as they’ve worked their way up the Championship table.
Samba joined from Ligue 2 side Caen for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract. He was signed to compete with Aro Muric and seems to have won that battle, having played the last six Championship games in a row for the club (via TransferMarkt).
The Congo-born ‘keeper has conceded just five goals from his six Championship games this season, an average of less than one a game. In contrast, Muric has conceded four goals in just four appearances, an average of exactly one a game.
Samba’s most recent appearances against Blackburn, Stoke City and Fulham proved to be fruitful ones for the ‘keeper as he made five saves in each game. His five saves against Blackburn and Fulham were all within the six-yard box and he also claimed the ball once in each game, showing he has good command of his penalty box.
His performances have proved crucial for Forest winning some big away games. Two of his four wins have come away to Fulham and Swansea City, both clubs sitting in the top six and looking like promotion rivals this season (via BBC). Fulham had scored eight goals in the four games preceding their 2-1 loss to Forest, while Swansea scored 12 in six games before their 1-0 loss to Forest. This shows the strength of Samba in the games to help concede just one goal across the 180 minutes.
Samba has improved the defensive solidity of Forest as seen by his performance’s in crucial away games. His command of the penalty box has proved brilliant, and he has all the tools to be a key part of a potential promotion campaign.
Nottingham Forest fans, how crucial do you think Samba will be to a potential promotion charge this season? Comment below with your views!