Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba has made an exceptional start to life at the City Ground since joining from Caen in the summer.
Former Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Southend United manager Chris Powell believes that the 25-year-old has been key to the club’s recent run of form. The 50-year-old was a pundit on EFL on Quest at the weekend.
Costel Pantilimon was almost ever-present in goal for the Reds last season under both Aitor Karanka and Martin O’Neill. However, he hasn’t featured at all under Sabri Lamouchi.
Lamouchi began the season with Arijanet Muric as his first choice goalkeeper. However, the Frenchman soon opted to drop the 20-year-old Manchester City loanee for Samba, once he had arrived at the club.
The Reds picked up another important three points at the weekend. They managed to defeat struggling Barnsley 1-0 at the City Ground. The Reds weren’t at their best, but the fact they were still able to grind out the win is a positive sign.
Samba was instrumental in helping ensure that the Reds did come away with three points. It was arguably his best display since arriving at the City Ground. He had to make a number of good saves to deny Barnsley finding the back of the net.
His performance has since led to many supporters claiming that he is the best goalkeeper in the Championship.
Speaking about Samba on EFL on Quest, Powell said: “(Brice) Samba has been playing very well this season and he came up with some great saves.
“They realised they were in a tough game and they showed their experience and knowledge about the division.
“The manager has got them playing in a really solid way.”
It won’t be easy for the Reds to secure a place in the play-offs this season. It’s something they haven’t achieved since 2011. However, if players such as Samba can maintain their current form, then anything is possible.
The Reds return to Carabao Cup action tonight as they travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Lamouchi draft Muric into the starting line-up to rest Samba ahead of Friday’s trip to Stoke City in the Championship.