Molla Wague continues to make quite the impact at Nottingham Forest, and not in the area expected of him.

Acquired amid the influx of centre-half additions during the January window, the Mali international was signed to plug defensive leaks.

It is, however, at the opposite end of the field that he has made the biggest contribution.

Having netted the winter against Swansea on Saturday, Wague now has three goals to his name.

Another decisive effort was recorded on debut against Brentford, before then bundling home at Ipswich.

Three goals that have delivered seven points.

With the 28-year-old finding the target on average once every 67 minutes!

There have been the tongue-in-cheek calls for him to be deployed up front, with Forest crying out for another consistent contributor to help Lewis Grabban carry the load.

Wague is not the man for that job.

Regardless of what some might think, Martin O’Neill will not be mulling over the merits of nudging Daryl Murphy down the attacking pecking order.


(Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There is, however, a selection dilemma to be found elsewhere.

Against Swansea, Wague was once again favoured to Alexander Milosevic.

A commanding Swede also landed in the winter transfer window has done little wrong to this point.

His partnership with Yohan Benalouane had drawn plenty of praise, with the Reds adding bite to their bark.

Milosevic did not even make the bench at the weekend.

Quizzed about that call afterwards, O’Neill said in the Nottingham Post: “No, he did not have an injury. I am glad you mentioned him, because there is a really fine line here.

“He came over and was thrown in at the deep end, against Birmingham.

“He will have immediately thought ‘wow, what is this all about’ as he had to deal with about seven balls into the penalty area, in the first three or four minutes of the game. But he has gradually come through all of that.

“Wague gives us a bit of a threat, when he is in the side. I just wanted Milosevic to sit it out and have a little look at us.

“But he is very much in our plans. He really is.”


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Part of the plans, but how prominent within them?

Competition for places is most welcome and a must for any side with a shred of ambition.

Forest’s defensive puzzle is, though, being further complicated by the week.

With Joe Worrall to return from a loan spell at Rangers and Michael Dawson and Tobias Figueiredo stepping off the treatment table, options are piling up.

And that is before Michael Hefele is added back to the pot after a long-term injury.

Wague is not even committed to the Reds at this point, with the terms of a loan agreement set to send him back to Udinese at the end of the season.

It would, however, be surprising if questions were not asked of a permanent deal should his current standards be maintained.

And if he were to be snapped up, what does that mean for the rest of the centre-half crop?

Milosevic appeared to have a starting berth sewn up a few weeks ago, but could soon be fourth or fifth in the queue.

Wague’s impact is certainly making things intriguing – at both ends of the pitch – and there promises to be more twists in this tale as a cliff-hanger of an ending approaches.

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