Nottingham Forest supporters have been in fine voice throughout the international break what with their side sat in fifth place in the Championship table.
Aitor Karanka’s men went into their encounter with high-flying Middlesbrough back on October 6 having lost just one of their opening 11 league games, albeit winning on only three occasions. Yet they made that four with an excellent display at the Riverside Stadium just before the two-week interruption for internationals, with goals from Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban securing a 2-0 success for the East Midlands giants to move to within six points of leaders Sheffield United.
As such, there have been many thrilled Forest fans up and down the country in recent times, with the club’s hierarchy in particular receiving praise for their efforts during the summer transfer window, not least the signing of striker Grabban from Bournemouth on a permanent deal.
And it seems that the club’s decision to sell fellow forward Britt Assombalonga to Boro for £15.39 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in the summer of 2017 has paved the way for Grabban to produce the goods at the City Ground, as although it is still early in his Reds career, he is well on his way to becoming a Forest gem.
Ultimately, Assombalonga scored goals for fun when fit for the East Midlands giants between 2014 and 2017 following his £6.21 million (as per Transfermarkt) move from Peterborough United, netting 30 goals in 69 appearances for the Reds.
However, injury problems littered his time at the City Ground and the club were probably right to let him leave for a very hefty £15.39 million last summer, as he simply couldn’t be relied upon to lead the line over the course of a Championship campaign.
And while the Reds tried to combat his departure last season through the likes of Daryl Murphy and Ben Brereton, it was a struggle – yet Grabban appears to be fulfilling the role as Assombalonga’s replacement brilliantly following his move to the club this summer.
The Englishman has bagged five goals in just 11 Championship appearances for Karanka’s side to help them into the top-six at this early stage of the season, all five goals of which coming in his last five games to suggest that he is now settled and very much up and running at his new employers.
And after the 2017/18 season, in which he netted 12 times for Sunderland and then went on loan to Aston Villa and scored eight, it’s clear that the 30-year-old has huge pedigree at this level, and as such Forest fans can surely be excited about the future with Grabban leading the line for their club.
Yet it’s a deal that would have unlikely come about were it not for the sale of Assombalonga last summer – not only did the Reds make a tidy £9.18 million profit on the striker, but his exit appears to have paved the way for the emergence of Forest gem.
Forest fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!