Costel Pantilimon has endured quite the humbling fall from grace at Nottingham Forest.

The man who continues to fill No.1 on the squad list is a long way from enjoying such a standing in the side.

Once the first name on the teamsheet, he now can’t make a matchday squad.

It is, given that Pantilimon has found himself in this position for several months, a surprise to see him still at the City Ground.

There is no reprieve in sight.

No cleaning of the slate and a fresh start handed out to the giant Romanian.

He is about as firmly out of favour as it is possible to get.

From first choice to fourth in a matter of months.

Aro Muric became Sabri Lamouchi’s favoured option upon joining on loan from Manchester City.

Capable

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Brice Samba has since shown what he is capable of and staked a serious claim for a regular starting berth.

Jordan Smith is the third cog in the wheel.

Pantilimon is left in footballing limbo.

Lamouchi has said in the Nottingham Post when quizzed on his keeping plans: “It is different. We need to talk about the players in the 18. Pantilimon has a contract with the club

“I need to pick just two goalkeepers in the 18.”

He has added: “We cannot work with a lot of players. I prefer to work with less players.

“I do not want a lot of players. I want all players focused on the situation; about the season and the games we have.

“I want the focus to be on our opponents, on the matches and the training sessions we have.”

Shift

 

Pantilimon’s face does not fit in that picture.

Which represents a marked shift from where he was 12 months ago.

Having been acquired permanently on the back of a productive loan spell, the 32-year-old was relatively unchallenged.

He made 44 appearances in 2018-19, with the odd random opportunity handed out to Luke Steele in his absence.

Pantilimon kept 15 clean sheets across his outings for the Reds – only three men managed more.

His efforts were enough to earn him a spot in the WhoScored Championship Team of the Season.

Whatever your argument against that selection and the processes involved, he made the XI ahead of some more distinguished rivals.

He now doesn’t even have a bench to occupy.

Pantilimon’s only crumb of comfort is that transfer windows remain open outside of England and a standing as the first name on the teamsheet could yet be returned to him elsewhere.

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