As any ardent Nottingham Forest fan will tell you, there ain’t nobody like Joe Lolley.

That has been the case for a good 18 months now.

And the situation is unlikely to change any time soon.

There were unwelcome transfer murmurings at one stage.

Aston Villa, with Premier League football to use as a recruitment carrot, have been sniffing around a boyhood fan of the club.

As things stand, the admiring glances have been given short shrift.

Villa have, in no uncertain terms, been told to go and flutter their eyelashes elsewhere.

That is because everyone at the City Ground is fully aware of Lolley’s importance to the cause.

Steal

Original Image: NFFC/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Even those over in Greece know just how prized that left-footed asset is.

Every effort is therefore being made to ensure that it remains in its current home.

Forest could, if they so wished, make a very healthy profit on Lolley.

The £500,000 handed over to Huddersfield back in January 2018 has been made to look like a steal.

What the Terriers would give for him back now!

Evangelos Marinakis is hardly short of a few bob, though, and has no need to line his pockets this summer.

Instead, more funds are being made available for new recruits.

Having fallen short in a top-six bid again last season, there is an obvious need for further strengthening.

After a slow start to the latest window, a steady stream of talent has made its way to Trentside.

With the promise of more to come.

Additions have been made between the sticks, at the back, in the engine room and out wide.

Nothing up top just yet.

Identifying striking targets is the top priority for Forest at present.

Whoever is brought in, though, the title of top dog in the City Ground pack will remain the same.

Lolley has become untouchable.

If any further evidence of that were needed, then his latest display for the Reds hammered home that point.

Yes, it was only pre-season.

And yes, Atromitos didn’t look like they were all that bothered about the end result.

They were, however, given a first-hand look at how destructive Lolley can be.

Impact

 

He was only given 27 minutes off the bench as Sabri Lamouchi made a raft of second-half changes.

An instant impact was made, though, with Forest recording their second goal of the game inside 60 seconds.

The source of that effort?

A neat piece of interplay between Lolley and Sammy Ameobi which led to the former firing over a cross for Michael Dawson to bundle home.

And by now I’m sure you will have seen what happened in stoppage-time (if not, see above).

Lolley – with 11 goals and as many assists last season – remains the man with that sprinkling of magic dust.

He has many notable apprentices – with the likes of Tiago Silva, Ameobi and Albert Adomah acquired to aid his cause – but there is only one sorcerer.

There really is nobody like him.

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