Samba Sow helped to kick Nottingham Forest into gear against Preston, with the slack picked up of the man he replaced.

As the half-time whistle blew on Saturday, it was clear that something had to change – be that tactically or in terms of personnel.

Sabri Lamouchi favoured the latter of those options.

Alfa Semedo, come in your time is up.

The man from Guinea-Bissau was hauled off at the interval.

Sow was sent on in his place.

Within a matter of seconds he was making his presence known.

Forest needed somebody to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drag them kicking and screaming back into the contest.

Sow was the man for the job.


(Photo by Jon Hobley/ MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Which shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.

The Mali international has impressed across his outings for the Reds to date.

Lamouchi said in the Nottingham Post after his latest appearance: “We know very well what he can do.

“All the time we have put him in the starting XI, when he was on the pitch, it was perfect.”

Which rather begs the question – why wasn’t he in the starting XI?

He was against Fleetwood in the Carabao Cup, and the Reds won 1-0.

Lamouchi selected him again for a home date with Birmingham and a trip to Fulham.

Six points in the bag.

He was then given 45 minutes against Preston, with Forest winning his half 1-0 to claim another hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw.

That record is no fluke.

And there is now a very serious argument for him filling a position Semedo appeared set to cement at one stage.



One summer signing in the middle of the park burst out of the blocks.

Semedo, for a couple of weeks, looked every inch the ‘Guinean Pogba’ he had been billed as.

His standards have slipped somewhat of late.

Sow bested him in just about every department against Preston – admittedly in a slightly different role.

More chances created, more passes, better accuracy with them (in both halves of the field), more touches, tackles and winning of the ball.

The same was true against Birmingham and, for the most part, at Fulham.

When breaking his numbers down to a per-90 minutes basis, aggregating his statistics across the campaign so far, Sow tops Semedo in all of the areas you would want a midfielder to thrive.

He isn’t perfect, despite a big billing from Lamouchi, but is doing a damn fine job.

Semedo has already shown that he can do likewise – just not in a No. 10 role – but right now 30-year-old experience is winning out over 22-year-old potential.

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